Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. It is estimated that vWD occurs in up to three percent of the U.S. population. This genetic disorder can be inherited from either parent and affects women and men in equal numbers. However, it can impact women more due to childbirth/menstruation.
There are three types of vWD. Type 1 is characterized by lower levels of Von Willebrand factor (VWF). It is the mildest and most common form. Type 1 rarely causes life-threatening bleeding. Treatment with desmopressin and anti-fibrinolytics (Amicar, Tranexamic acid) is advised for most surgeries, dental procedures or trauma.
In Type 2, the amount of VWF is normal but doesn’t work effectively. Different gene mutations cause subtypes (2A, 2B, 2M and 2N) and each may be treated differently.
Type 3 is the most severe form of vWD and often requires replacement clotting factor.