Hemophilia is an uncommon bleeding disorder that affects almost exclusively men. Boys or men with this disorder may have frequent bleeding episodes starting at birth or within the first few years of life. Typical bleeding problems include oozing from circumcision, easy bruising, bleeding inside the joints, frequent and persistent nosebleeds, and prolonged oozing from cuts or abrasions. Since the mutation which causes hemophilia arises on the X-chromosome, it can be transmitted genetically by the mother.
There are two main types of hemophilia:
Today, with extremely sensitive diagnostic tests, factor products are much safer than they were 20 years ago. Factor products replace the missing clotting factor that is responsible for hemophilia.
While hemophilia is the most common of the severe bleeding disorders, there are others that may affect both men and women. Here are some examples:
♦ Von Willebrands disease may be the most common bleeding disorder in humans, but it is usually very mild compared to hemophilia. Nevertheless, women with von Willebrands may have excess bleeding during menstrual cycles.