About bleeding disorders
A bleeding disorder is a problem in the body’s blood clotting (coagulation) system. Coagulation is the process that controls bleeding, and certain proteins in the blood are known as clotting factors.
Blood travels around the body via a network of blood vessels, i.e. the veins, arteries and capillaries. Bleeding occurs when a blood vessel is damaged or injured. This can be visible, e.g. if there is a cut to the skin or if a bruise appears.
Blood clotting is the body’s process of stopping this bleeding to enable the blood vessel to heal. Platelets are blood cells which clump together to form a plug over the damage to the blood vessel. Blood clotting factors then interact to form a clot to cover the damaged part of the blood vessel and stop the bleeding.
When there is an inherited bleeding disorder, a person may be lacking or deficient in one of the blood clotting factors, or it may not work properly. This causes them to bleed for longer than an unaffected person. Diagnosis is essential to avoid life-threatening complications during childbirth, surgery, accidents, and injury as well as internal bleeding and cranial bleeds.
In this section you will find individual information about each of the inherited bleeding disorders that can affect women.
Please click on the links below:
von Willebrand's Disease
Factor XI deficiency