Heart & Blood Conditions

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Conditions


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WITH VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is von Willebrand disease?

von Willebrand disease (vWD) WD is a genetic bleeding disorder, resulting from a problem with a very large protein called von Willebrand factor (vWF), which plays an important role in helping blood clotting cells called platelets stick together. The von Willebrand factor also carries another protein vital to clotting called factor VIII (FVIII). There are 3 principal types of vWD: types 1, 2, and 3:

  • People with vWD type 1 produce normal vWF, but not enough of it
  • vWD type 2 actually consists of a few subtypes, but the basic idea is that the person’s vWF is qualitatively defective, meaning that it cannot do its job, even if the person makes plenty of it. wVD types 1 and 2 both result from a problem with just one of two copies that you have of the gene that encodes vWF.
  • In vWD type 3, however, both copies of the person’s vWF genes are abnormal, and so there is no working vWF.

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