Bleeding Disorders
Bleeding Disorders

Bleeding Disorders What Are Bleeding Disorders

Bleeding disorders affect the way the body controls blood clotting. If your blood does not clot enough, you may experience problems with bleeding too much after an injury or surgery. Blood that clots too much can lead to other medical conditions, such as thrombotic disorders. This health topic focuses on bleeding disorders that are caused by problems with clotting factors, including hemophilia and von Willebrand disease.

Image of stethoscope and doctor's papers showing hematology test for a bleeding disorder patient

Clotting factors, also called coagulation factors, are proteins in the blood that work with small cells, called platelets, to form blood clots. Any problem that affects the function or number of clotting factors or platelets can lead to a bleeding disorder.

A bleeding disorder can be inherited, meaning that you are born with the disorder, or it can be acquired, meaning it develops during your life. Symptoms can include easy bruising, heavy menstrual periods, and nosebleeds that happen often. To diagnose your bleeding disorder, your healthcare provider may need to review your symptoms, risk factors, medical history, and blood test results.

Depending on the type of bleeding disorder you have, your provider may recommend medicines or clotting factor replacement therapy to treat your condition. Even if you do not need to treat the bleeding disorder, your provider may recommend taking precautions before a medical procedure or during a pregnancy to prevent bleeding problems in the future.

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