Von Willebrand disease – Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Von Willebrand disease – Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

A common blood condition – von Willebrand disease prevents blood from clotting. As this is an inherited condition, parents who have biological children may also inherit the disorder. In order to aid with blood clotting, medical professionals treat this problem with medicines.

Von Willebrand Disease

One condition that causes bleeding is von Willebrand disease. Von Willebrand factor (VWF) insufficiency is the root cause of it. This particular kind of protein aids in blood clotting. Haemophilia is a distinct kind of bleeding illness from von Willebrand. Your blood vessel collapses, which results in bleeding.

One form of cell found in your blood is called a platelet. This aggregates together to plug damaged blood arteries and halt bleeding. VWF is a protein that aids in the clotting, or grouping, of platelets. Your platelets will not clot correctly if your functional VWF levels are low. This causes the bleeding to continue for a while.


It varies according to the kind of von Willebrand disease you have.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 can cause mild to significant symptoms. Among them are:

  • Big bruises from mild injuries often
  • Recurring or difficult-to-stop nosebleeds
  • Blood in your urine or stools
  • Severe bleeding following a small medical operation, injury, or accident
  • Bleeding for a long time following major surgery
  • Extended or heavy menstrual cycles

Women with VWD will experience periods with clots that are greater than one inch in diameter. This implies you could require more frequent pad or tampon changes than once per hour. Additionally, anemia will probably strike. These are signs of von Willebrand disease, but they do not establish the condition on their own.

All of the symptoms of Types 1 and 2 may coexist with periods of uncontrollably intense bleeding in Type 3. Additionally, bleeding may cause intense pain and swelling in your joints and soft tissues.

Causes of Von Willebrand Disease

The primary cause of von Willebrand disease is a genetic mutation. Whether a mutant gene was passed down to you from one or both of your parents determines the type of von Willebrand disease you have.

For instance, you can only have type 3 Von Willebrand if both of your parents have a mutant gene. You will have von Willebrand disease type 1 or type 2 if you have only inherited one copy of the defective gene.


Depending on the kind of ailment you have, your treatment strategy for this disease will change. Your physician could suggest a few alternative courses of action.

Nonreplacement Therapy

For types 1 and 2A, your doctor may suggest the medication desmopressin (DDAVP). DDAVP causes your body’s cells to release VWF more readily.

Replacement Therapy

Your physician can suggest replacement treatment with Alphanate Solvent Detergent/Heat Treated (SD/HT) or Humate-P. These two categories of genetically modified proteins are known as biologics. They were created using human plasma. They can assist in substituting the VWF in your body that is missing or malfunctioning.

You should not utilize these replacement therapies interchangeably because they are not the same. If you cannot take DDAVP and have type 2 von Willebrand disease, your doctor may prescribe Humate-P. If you have a severe case of type 3 von Willebrand disease, they can additionally prescribe it.

Topical Treatments

Your doctor may suggest topical use of Thrombin-JMI to address mild bleeding from small capillaries or veins. After your operation, they could also use Tisseel VH topically, although this will not reduce severe bleeding.

Other Medication Therapies

Aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid are medications that aid in stabilizing platelet-formed clots. Physicians frequently recommend them to patients having invasive procedures. In the event that you have type 1 von Willebrand disease, your doctor could also recommend them.

Prevent Medicines

Avoiding medications that raise your risk of bleeding and problems is crucial if you have Von Willebrand disease in any form. For instance, stay away from aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like naproxen and ibuprofen.

The Bottom Line

The most prevalent kind of hereditary bleeding condition is von Willebrand’s disease. About 60–80% of those who have the illness are type 1 carriers. Type 1 is the most common kind. There is a variety of indications from mild to severe. Also, these include increased susceptibility to bruising, nosebleeds, and extensive bleeding from cuts. While there is still no known cure for von Willebrand’s disease, therapies often involve putting a specified material on bleeding wounds. Moreover, take drugs that stop blood clots from breaking down.