Patients with hemophilia lack one of the blood proteins essential for clotting of blood. Since clotting helps stop bleeding and blood loss, people with hemophilia may bleed longer than people without this disorder.
Symptoms of hemophilia
Signs and symptoms of hemophilia differ and they are dependent on how deficient you are in clot-forming proteins. If levels of your deficient clotting factor are very low, you may experience spontaneous bleeding. If levels of your deficient clotting factor are moderately low, you may bleed only after surgery or trauma.
Signs and symptoms of unprompted blood loss may include:
Many large or deep bruises
Unexplained and excessive bleeding or bruising
Blood in your urine or stool
Prolonged bleeding from cuts or injuries or after surgery or tooth extraction
Nosebleeds without a known reason
Abnormal bleeding after immunizations
For a long time, people with hemophilia were advised to avoid exercising and play contact sports due to risk of blood loss. With advancement of technology and medicines, this has changed and many people are now encouraged to pursue some sports or physical activity.
When to see a doctor
Anyone should seek medical attention if facing one or more of the symptoms above. If you are an expecting mother or are planning to start a family, it is important to check your genetic history to see if hemophilia runs in the family from either parent’s side. You can also refer to a medical genetics specialist or a specialist in bleeding disorder who can help you determine if you could be a carrier of hemophilia.
Early diagnosis in children can also help treat hemophilia. If you have a baby boy, prolonged bleeding following circumcision may be the first indication of hemophilia. In boys who aren’t circumcised and girls, paying attention to easy bruising and bleeding may help in early diagnosis. The first episode of excessive bleeding generally occurs by the time a child reaches 2 years old.