Overview of Bleeding Disorders in Adolescent Females with Menorrhagia

Published:October 11, 2010DOI:


      Women bleed with menses, during childbirth, and after childbirth. Women are more likely to manifest a bleeding disorder as they have more opportunities to experience bleeding challenges in their lifetime. Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease affect 2.5–3 million American women. The most common inherited bleeding disorder in the population is von Willebrand disease with an estimated prevalence of 1–2%. von Willebrand factor (vWF) is required to adhere platelets to exposed subendothelium and protects factor VIII from proteolysis in the circulation.1 The prevalence of vWF rises in studies involving women with menorrhagia, with estimates ranging as high as 10–20% in white women, and 1–2% among African American women.2 Other bleeding disorders seen in adolescents with menorrhagia are disorders of inherited platelet dysfunction, clotting factor deficiencies, thrombocytopenia, and disorders of the fibrinolytic pathway. Not only are women more likely to present early in their life with a bleeding disorder, they are also more likely to have other gynecologic manifestations as a result of these disorders. This article presents an overview of the problem and touches upon the different management strategies available.

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