Bleeding disorders are a collection of mostly rare disorders that share the inability to form a proper blood clot. Extended bleeding after a surgery, injury, trauma, or menstruation is common in bleeding disorders but bleeding can also be spontaneous, without an identifiable cause. The intensity of disease symptoms and severity can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.
Two of the most known bleeding disorders are hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. The most widely known bleeding disorder is hemophilia which has long been diagnosed in males. Von Willebrand disease (VWD) has a more common prevalence but is lesser known.
Due to the X-linked nature of hemophilia, it was assumed that women could carry the hemophilia gene but their dual X chromosomes would protect them from having low factor levels and disease symptoms. While true in some cases, it has been found that women can have low clotting factor VIII and IX protein levels despite two X chromosomes. In the past few decades, it has been acknowledged that there are a great number of females who are also impacted by a variety of bleeding symptoms. VWD disease is where the blood also doesn’t clot properly, due to a low level of VWF or a VWF protein that does not work properly.