How is VWD diagnosed?
Because patients may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, VWD can be difficult to diagnose and often goes undetected. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any signs or symptoms you have been experiencing so you can get the help you need.
Diagnosis of VWD
To help confirm a diagnosis of VWD, your doctor may need the following:
Your and family members' medical histories. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Have you ever had bleeding symptoms?
- How long does bleeding or bruising persist after injury?
- Are you aware of excessive bleeding after surgery?
- Do you experience heavy menstrual bleeding?
How severe are your symptoms?
- Your healthcare professional will have tools to help you measure the severity of your symptoms
- These tools include pain scales and, for women with heavy menstrual bleeding, the Pictorial Blood Assessment Chart
Your family history. Tell your healthcare professional about anyone in your immediate family who has a known bleeding disorder or symptoms related to one.
Laboratory tests. Tests can check the amount of VWF and FVIII in your blood; several different tests may be needed for accurate diagnosis.
Treatment Options for VWD
- Desmopressin, given as an injection or nasal spray for mild hemophilia and Type 1 VWD, increases VWF by helping the body release its stores
VWF/FVIII replacement therapy
- A VWF concentrate is given as an infusion to replace the missing or defective VWF
Additional supportive therapies you and your doctor may want to consider
- Oral contraceptives to help control bleeding during menstruation
- Antifibrinolytic (clot stabilizing) drugs to help keep blood clots from breaking down
- Topical agents to help control wound bleeding and bleeding during dental work/surgery
Be sure to talk with your doctor about any side effects you may experience during treatment.