Some girls are diagnosed because of a known family condition earlier on in life, but others may only be diagnosed as a teenager when they begin periods.
Girls with bleeding disorders
A common symptom for girls with bleeding disorders is menorrhagia, or having heavy periods. This can affect you if you have a symptomatic bleeding disorder such as Von Willebrand disease. So if you are experiencing heavy periods on a regular basis, you should contact your GP or haemophilia centre. The symptoms to look out for are heavy bleeding, large blood clots and needing to change your sanitary wear every one to two hours. This can lead to absences from school or college as a result.
Menorrhagia is a manageable condition; therefore with treatments and support from your family and healthcare team you will be able to live life to the fullest without too much compromise. Our advice for your continued peace of mind is to remember to pack sanitary towels and tampons as well as a change of clothing when you are expecting your period, so that you are always prepared. More information can be found in the Von Willebrand disease area of the site, and in the links listed below.
If you are looking for advice on sex and relationships, you can find information and links to external resources under the Lifestyle area.
If you are a symptomatic carrier of haemophilia, you may be prone to less severe symptoms of the disorder such as bleeds and so may also experience menorrhagia. As was discussed above, it is a manageable condition that your healthcare team can assist you with.
As you reach early adulthood and begin to enter relationships, you may start thinking about your future as a mother. It can bring with it a whole range of emotions and concerns, which your family and healthcare team can support you with. Services which you may want to look at include genetic counselling which can offer you further information on the inherited bleeding disorder that runs in your family, discuss tests which can be carried out, and information on patient support groups.
For further information have a look at the links below.