The most commonly inherited bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease (vWD) and occurs in both males and females.
Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a clotting protein in the blood. It is produced in the cells that line the blood vessels and then is released into the blood stream.
Bleeding occurs when blood vessels are injured. Platelets, a type of blood cell, stick to the injured vessel and form a platelet plug. Von Willebrand factor acts as a glue to help the platelets stick to the injury site. Simultaneously, other clotting proteins work together to form a clot, further sealing the area of damage.
Von Willebrand disease is known as an inherited or genetic disorder meaning it is passed down through families through information in the cells called genes.