The signs and symptoms of VWD depend on its type and severity. Many people have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. They may be unaware that they have a bleeding disorder.

Some people with type 1 or type 2 VWD have mild-to-moderate bleeding symptoms that may include1:

  • Easy bruising (often from minor bumps or injuries)
  • Prolonged bleeding (more than 15 minutes) from minor wounds
  • Nosebleeds (that occur frequently and/or may be hard to stop)
  • Gum bleeding following dental procedures
  • Blood in the stool
  • Blood in the urine
  • Heavy bleeding after
    • A cut or accident
    • Surgery
    • Childbirth
  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding in women (called menorrhagia; this condition is discussed in the Women & VWD section)

People with type 3 VWD, who also have very low levels of factor VIII (called FVIII), may have all of these same symptoms. They may also experience soft tissue, muscle, and joint bleeding that causes severe pain and swelling.1,2 Bleeding is often spontaneous (not the result of injury or other causes). It may be severe and sometimes life-threatening, and requires immediate treatment.




References:

  1. NHLBI. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is von Willebrand disease? Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/vWD/vWD_All.html. Accessed August 5, 2013.
  2. Lillicrap D. The basic science, diagnosis, and clinical management of von Willebrand disease. World Federation of Hemophilia. April 2008, number 35.

Sponsored by Grifols and Wisconsin Bleeding Disorders Network