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Symptoms of von Willebrand Disease

The symptoms of VWD depend on which type you have, although everyone is affected differently. Many people have such mild symptoms in day to day life that they do not know they have VWD. Others have frequent and heavy bleeding that affects their everyday life and need regular treatment to manage their condition.   

If you have had a diagnosis of VWD, it is important to speak to your haemophilia centre if you are bleeding. If you are not sure if you have VWD and have one or more of the symptoms listed below, it is important that you see your GP.   

VWD bleeding can stop and start over a number of days. It may not seem to be a lot at any one time, but it can be excessive over several days. Possible symptoms include:

  • frequent or large bruises from minor bumps or injuries, particularly on your arms and legs
  • nosebleeds that are frequent or hard to stop
  • heavy, delayed or prolonged bleeding after surgery 
  • heavy or prolonged bleeding from a cut 
  • prolonged or heavy bleeding after an injury 
  • bleeding gums or prolonged bleeding from gum after dental surgery
  • heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • bleeding during or after labour 

People who have type 3 may have any of the symptoms listed above. They may also have bleeding into muscles and joints. Bleeding may happen for no obvious reason. 

More information is available in our Understanding von Willebrand Disease booklet.