Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD) is an inherited condition affecting about 1% of the female population. Women with heavy periods could be affected by this bleeding disorder which goes undetected. Only about 5,000 women have been diagnosed in the UK.
A survey of 600 women aged 16-45 for the Haemophilia Society says that about only 70% approach their GP with this problem. Von Willebrand's Disease (VMD) is a condition which leads to heavy or prolonged menstrual flow. Apart from this the other symptoms are heavy nosebleeds, bruise easily and lengthy bleeding from small cuts and scratches. The Haemophilia Society says that women often think that the heavy periods they share with other members of their family are normal as it is inherited. But the seriousness is understood only when excessive bleeding occurs after an operation or during childbirth. It is at this time that the diagnosis of such a disease brings to light about the dangers of the disease.
Margaret Unwin, chief executive of the Haemophilia Society, said that about 98% of women affected by VWD remain unaware of their condition. Debra Pollard, clinical nurse specialist in haemophilia at London's Royal Free Hospital, said that if a woman's period lasts for more than seven days and is very heavy with the passage of clots then it is high time that she seeks medical advice. Peter Bowen-Simpkins, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said that Von Willebrand's Disease is something that is serious and can cause huge problems if left undiagnosed.