Symptomatic Carriers

Symptomatic Carriers of Hemophilia

What is hemophilia?Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder due to the deficiency of factor VIII (hemophilia A) or factor IX (hemophilia B). The function of factor VIII and factor IX proteins in the blood is to promote clot formation after an injury. A person with hemophilia does not bleed faster than anyone else, but bleeding may last longer. Hemophilia is usually an inherited disorder, carried on the X chromosome, which generally affects males.
What are carriers?Women who have the hemophilia gene are called carriers, and they can pass the gene on to their children. Carriers may have low levels of factor VIII or factor IX. Most carriers do not experience bleeding symptoms in day-to-day life, however, some do.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include:
          – Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
          – Bleeding for a long time following childbirth
          – Bleeding for a long time after surgery or minor trauma.
Carriers may never have a bleeding problem, but if a family member has hemophilia or female members have had bleeding problems, it is very important to get tested.
How is it treated?
There are a variety of treatments available for symptomatic carriers. For heavy menstruation, birth control pills can help regulate heavy bleeding, and iron tablets can help reduce fatigue due to low iron. DDAVP may also be used, and clotting factor concentrates may be needed before surgery or childbirth to promote clotting.

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