Hemophilia is a group of bleeding disorders. Blood clotting factors are needed to stop bleeding. They are low or missing in people with hemophilia.
The most common types are:
- Hemophilia A (classic hemophilia)—caused by too little or no factor VIII (most common)
- Hemophilia B (Christmas disease)—happens in males, caused by too little or no factor IX
A faulty gene on a certain DNA strand causes hemophilia. Females carry 2 copies of the strand. If one is faulty, the other one takes over. The faulty gene can pass to their children. If so, the female child will carry the gene. If it passes to the male, they will get the disease because they carry one copy of the strand.
It is possible for a female to get the disease. They would have to get the faulty gene from both parents.
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Symptoms differ based on severity. Bleeding is the main issue. It is often related to an injury or surgery.
Common problems are:
- Easy bruising
- Repeated nosebleeds
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the stool
- Heavy bleeding after minor cuts or bumps
- Bleeding after dental work or surgery
- Heavy periods in women
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Hemophilia A—Factor VIII Deficiency; Classic Hemophilia; Hemophilia B—Factor IX Deficiency; Christmas Disease)
American Society of Hematology http://www.hematology.org
National Hemophilia Foundation https://www.hemophilia.org
Canadian Hemophilia Society http://www.hemophilia.ca
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Hemophilia A. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hemophilia-a. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Hemophilia B. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hemophilia-b. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Bleeding disorders. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/bleeding-disorders. Accessed October 23, 2020.
Konkle BA, Josephson NC, Nakaya Fletcher S. Hemophilia B GeneReviews 2014 Jun 5.