What are some tips for living with von Willebrand disease (VWD)?

Though von Willebrand disease (VWD) isn't curable, it's manageable with appropriate treatment. Following are some tips for living a full and rewarding life with von Willebrand disease. People with von Willebrand disease should:

  • Avoid over-the-counter medicines that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs)
  • Always check with a doctor before taking any medicines
  • Tell their doctor, dentist and pharmacist that they have VWD
  • Consider telling friends, colleagues, gym trainers and sports coaches about the condition so they can act quickly in case of injury
  • Wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace if they have a more severe form of VWD, which will provide valuable information to a health care team in case of accident or injury
  • Stay physically active with safe activities like swimming, biking and walking
  • Avoid contact sports like football, hockey and wrestling
  • Check with a doctor before starting any exercise program
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Women with VWD shoud talk to specialists before pregnancy. Pregnancy can prove challenging for women with VWD because they run an increased risk of bleeding problems during delivery and for an extended time after it. However, there are ways to lower the risk of such complications. Women who have VWD and are considering having a child, should talk with a hematologist and an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies before becoming pregnant.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.