von Willebrand Disease Symptoms

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) symptoms can differ from patient to patient, even within the same family. Symptoms can also change over time. Some people with VWD may have severe bleeding, while others have mild symptoms and may not even know they have the disease.1

The most common VWD symptoms1

  • Easy bruising
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods that:
    • last more than 7 to 10 days
    • include clots larger than a quarter
    • soak through a pad or tampon hourly or more often
    • may result in a diagnosis of anemia (low blood iron)
  • Prolonged bleeding after cuts or surgery (including dental work)
  • Bleeding in the stomach, intestines, kidney, or bladder

Symptoms of VWD depend on the type and severity of the condition. If you have type 1 or 2 VWD, your symptoms may be mild to moderate. However, if you have type 3 VWD, you may have some or all of the symptoms listed above, as well as the following1:

  • Severe bleeding episodes for no reason. Without immediate treatment, these episodes can be life-threatening
  • Bleeding into soft tissue or joints, which can cause severe pain and swelling


  1. What is von Willebrand disease? National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vwd. Accessed October 21, 2014.