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Signs and Symptoms

Women and Bleeding Disorders: Living with von Willebrand Disease

Meet three women and hear about their experiences living with von Willebrand Disease (VWD). Learn about the signs and symptoms of VWD and why it’s important to seek help with any questions or concerns about abnormal bleeding.

VWD video

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Do you have heavy periods? If so, you might have a bleeding disorder. A bleeding disorder is a condition that keeps your blood from clotting properly after a cut or injury. Women are more likely to notice the symptoms of a bleeding disorder because of heavy or abnormal bleeding during their menstrual periods and after childbirth.

Signs and symptoms of a bleeding disorder:

  • I have heavy menstrual periods, such as:

    • Bleeding for more than 7 days from the time bleeding begins before it completely stops.
    • Flooding or gushing of blood that limits daily activities such as housework, exercise, or social activities.
    • Passing clots that are bigger than a quarter.
    • Changing a tampon or pad, possibly even both, every hour or more often on heaviest day(s).

  • I have been told I am “low in iron” or I have received treatment for anemia.

  • I have experienced heavy bleeding after dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth.

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  • I have experienced prolonged bleeding episodes that might occur as a result of:

    • Dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth;
    • Frequent nose bleeds (longer than 10 minutes);
    • Bleeding from cuts or injury (longer than 5 minutes); or
    • Easy bruising (weekly, raised, and larger than a quarter in size).

  • I have experienced prolonged bleeding episodes such as might occur as a result of:

    • Dental surgery, other surgery, or childbirth;
    • Frequent nose bleeds (longer than 10 minutes);
    • Bleeding from cuts or injury (longer than 5 minutes); or
    • Easy bruising (weekly, raised, and larger than a quarter in size).

  • I have one or more of the bleeding symptoms above and someone in my family has a bleeding disorder such as von Willebrand disease or a clotting factor deficiency such as hemophilia.

If you have one or more of these signs and symptoms, please talk with your doctor or other health care professional. Bleeding disorders can be dangerous if they are not treated. Women with untreated bleeding disorders face serious risks after childbirth, dental surgery, other surgery, or injury.

Bleeding disorders can be treated, but first you need to know if you have one!

 

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Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

    Division of Blood Disorders

    1600 Clifton Road
    MS E-87
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO