Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder. It is a rare condition that does not allow your blood to clot normally. Hemophilia may be mild, moderate, or severe.
Hemophilia is usually inherited, which means that it is passed from parents to children through their genes. Genes are inside each cell of your body. They contain the information that tells your body how to develop and work.
There are several proteins in your blood called clotting factors that cause your blood to clot after an injury. When you have hemophilia, your body is missing one of the blood-clotting factors or has very little of a blood-clotting factor.
Hemophilia is much more common in males than females. The disease can be passed to children by mothers who do not have symptoms. A man with the disease can pass the genes to his daughters, but not his sons. All of his daughters will be carriers of the hemophilia gene and may pass it on to their children.
In rare cases, hemophilia can be caused by a disease such as diabetes, cancer, liver infections, blood diseases, or an autoimmune disease (a disease that causes your body to mistakenly attack your own tissue).
The main symptom is bleeding that lasts longer than normal after injuries or surgery. Your child may also have internal bleeding, especially into the joints (knees, ankles, and elbows). The first signs in your child may be:
Other examples of abnormal bleeding are:
Most people with hemophilia are diagnosed in the first 2 years of life. The diagnosis is based on family history, unusual bleeding, and blood tests. In some cases, especially if the symptoms are mild, the diagnosis may not be made until a child is several years old.
There is no cure for hemophilia but there are treatments. Treatment depends on the type of hemophilia and whether it is mild, moderate, or severe hemophilia. Treatments may include:
If you have lost a lot of blood, you may need a blood transfusion.
Hemophilia treatment centers are located in many areas of the US. These centers provide treatment, education, and support to people who have hemophilia and to their families.
For more information, contact: