What are Common Bleeding Disorders?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Bleeding disorders are a type of medical condition. When a person has one, it can be difficult for her to stop bleeding. This is because the clot that usually forms to stop bleeding in a timely manner does not form or does not form as quickly as it should. There are many disorders that affect bleeding, but one of the most common is called Von Willebrand disease (VWD).

Pronounced bruising is a symptom of some bleeding disorders.
Pronounced bruising is a symptom of some bleeding disorders.

When a person has VWD, she has a deficiency in those things responsible for helping the blood to clot. This condition is inherited, and it can affect both men and women. In a woman, a common symptom of VWD is prolonged and abnormally heavy menstruation. A woman with this condition may also bruise easily and bleed excessively after giving birth.

Nosebleeds are a common symptom of some bleeding disorders.
Nosebleeds are a common symptom of some bleeding disorders.

A person, whether a woman or a man, with VWD may have an abnormal abundance of bleeding after having surgical procedures or following dental care. This condition may also cause frequent nosebleeds and bleeding in the digestive system and muscles. In very severe cases of VWD, the patient may even bleed in the joints. Men can have the same symptoms as women, with the exception of those related to the reproductive system.

Hemophilia is another inherited bleeding disorder. Though it is relatively rare in occurrence, it is considered common among other bleeding disorders because it is so well known. This condition is the result of gene mutations that cause the patient to have too few of the substances needed for clotting.

A person with hemophilia may bruise too easily and bleed too much and too long after even a minor injury. He may have frequent, difficult-to-stop nosebleeds and anemia. Though a woman can have this condition, it is very rare; men are usually diagnosed with it. When the gene mutation exists for a woman, she is usually a carrier. However, some women do develop the typical symptoms of hemophilia as well as periods that are abnormally heavy and abundant bleeding in the presence of reproductive disorders.

Fortunately, there are treatments for common bleeding disorders, but the chosen method depends on the condition. Treatment for bleeding disorders may include injecting substances, referred to as factors, into the blood, stimulating production and release of the substances required for clotting. Other treatments may involve infusing clotting substances into the patient’s body. These may come from donations from other people or from products that scientists have genetically engineered. Sometimes preventative infusions and other treatments are used as well.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I have a friend who works as a nurse in the oncology unit of a local hospital. She has told me about two brothers who are in the low 20's that both have hemophilia.

I don't know much about blood disorders, but know they have to come to the hospital on a fairly regular basis for treatments.

Because they are there so often, all the staff knows them and they feel quite comfortable there.

They are also quite young and have caused some interesting disturbances at times. She can't talk a whole lot about it, but always has some kind of story to tell when the brothers are in for their treatments.

This blood disorder is something they have lived with their whole lives, and will continue to have treatments the rest of their lives.

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