The most commonly inherited bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease (vWD). It occurs in both males and females.

Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a protein that helps the blood clot. It is produced in the cells that line the blood vessels and then is released into the bloodstream, during stress or with injury.

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.