Hemophilia is an inherited disorder in which your blood doesn't clot normally.
Hemophilia makes you bleed a lot from small injuries or even without an injury
Almost everyone with hemophilia is male
Boys inherit hemophilia from their mother
People with hemophilia can't make enough of a clotting factor (proteins that help blood to clot)
Doctors diagnose hemophilia with a blood test
You may need injections of a clotting factor in your veins (IV)
Clotting factors are proteins in your blood that help make blood clots. Blood clots plug up bleeding blood vessels. There are over a dozen different clotting factors.
The abnormal genes that cause hemophilia are passed down from your mother (sex-linked).
Hemophilia isn't equally severe in everyone who has it. Some people make very little of the affected clotting factor. Other people make some of the clotting factor but not quite enough. The less clotting factor you have the more severe your tendency to bleed.
The main symptom of hemophilia is:
You may bleed from the outside, like from a cut or from your nose. Or you may bleed on the inside. For example, if you twist your knee or bang your leg, it may swell up with blood.
Because people who have hemophilia are born with it, blood clotting problems usually show up in young children unless the problem is very mild.
How much you bleed depends on how severe your hemophilia is.
If you have mild hemophilia, you may:
If you have moderate hemophilia, you may:
If you have severe hemophilia, you may:
Bleeding inside the same joint can cause crippling joint damage.
Doctors suspect hemophilia in a child (especially a boy) who bleeds a lot and bruises easily, especially if the child has family members with hemophilia.
To diagnose hemophilia, doctors do blood tests to see if your blood clots at a normal rate and whether there are enough clotting factors.
Genetic testing can show if a woman is a carrier of the abnormal genes that cause hemophilia. Pregnant women with these genes can have their baby tested during pregnancy.
If you have hemophilia, doctors may:
Doctors will also tell you to:
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