While most people with hemophilia are men, everyone should be more aware of what it is. Women have the potential to be carriers if the disease runs in the family. In fact, there are even some women who have one of the forms of hemophilia. In particular, von Willebrand disease (vWD) occurs with both genders at roughly equal rates.
Oftentimes, people will not recognize the symptoms of vWD. A blogger in Australia named Susie shares her experience of not being diagnosed until her third child was born and diagnosed. The symptoms of this disease can be rather minor, such as easy bruising, prolonged bleeding from wounds or dental work.
Susie experienced some considerable bleeding after the birth of her first child, but the hospital performed surgery to stop the profuse bleeding. She did not think much of it when her second child was born without the excessive bleeding complication. She thought it was a fluke; something that was behind her. However, her diagnosis of type 1 von Willebrand disease came after her third son was born and diagnosed with type 3, the most severe kind, shortly after birth.
Susie was tested and diagnosed with type 1, the least severe. That’s when she started to put the pieces together. She had always seemed to bruise easily. This was written off as the family curse—“We bruise easy, but we heal fast.” Susie didn’t heal so fast, though. She remembers having a scraped heel that bled for far too long before getting back to normal.
Susie doesn’t know if she has a family history of bleeding diseases or not, but she now she is proactive in her approach to dealing with von Willebrand disease. She works with her doctors, her office is aware, and she is managing her daily living with her disease in mind.
Learning how to become involved has been a rewarding experience for Susie. She encourages others to get involved too. The hemophilia community is predominantly male because of the types A and B. However, if more women knew about von Willebrand disease, we might not have surprises like the one that Susie experienced.
Learn more about von Willebrand disease by clicking here.