What are the chances of passing von Willebrand’s disease on to my daughter?
Reply by Suzanne Dixon
The condition you have, von Willebrand’s disease, is an inherited disorder that alters the blood’s ability to clot. It’s usually inherited as an autosomal dominant condition so that your daughter has, statistically, about a 50/50 chance of also having this disorder.
Fortunately, the bleeding tendency in this condition is usually very mild, so mild that it is believed to be an underidentified, quite common disorder. It seems to occur in about 1 in 100 people, although the exact incidence is unknown. It occurs equally in men and women and in all racial groups.
We have the technology available at major medical centers to identify the platelet and serum abnormalities on a small blood sample. In the newborn period it’s difficult to be sure of the results, but after that, it’s a matter of when you want to draw the blood sample. Clinically there is rarely a problem in infancy. When a toddler starts getting around and is likely to get a bump or two, this condition shows up, often as a bloody nose or a mouth cut that is slow to stop bleeding. Read more below