Von Willebrand Disease | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of VWD?

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the disease and are different for each individual. Many children with VWD have no or minimal symptoms. Others can experience symptoms such as:

  • frequent large bruises from minor bumps or injuries
  • frequent or prolonged nosebleeds
  • heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding in girls
  • heavy or prolonged bleeding from the gums during teeth cleaning or other dental procedures
  • heavy or prolonged bleeding during or shortly after surgery
  • excessive bleeding from minor cuts

It is important to understand that some symptoms of VWD may resemble those of other more common medical problems. Because some of these symptoms can also point to other conditions, it’s important to have your child evaluated by a qualified medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and prompt development of a treatment plan.

What causes VWD?

VWD is an inherited bleeding disorder. If there in an abnormality in the gene responsible for allowing the body to make VWF, the amount or function of VWF can be abnormal and led to bleeding symptoms. Each individual should have two copies of the VWF gene; one is inherited from each parent. Parents with an abnormality in one of their VWF genes have a 50% chance of passing the abnormal VWF gene to their children.