Signs and symptoms of hemophilia vary, depending on your level of clotting factors. If your clotting-factor level is mildly reduced, you may bleed only after surgery or trauma. If your deficiency is severe, you may experience spontaneous bleeding.

Signs and symptoms of spontaneous bleeding include:

  • Unexplained and excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries, or after surgery or dental work
  • Many large or deep bruises
  • Unusual bleeding after vaccinations
  • Pain, swelling or tightness in your joints
  • Blood in your urine or stool
  • Nosebleeds without a known cause
  • In infants, unexplained irritability

Emergency signs and symptoms of hemophilia include:

  • Sudden pain, swelling and warmth in large joints, such as knees, elbows, hips and shoulders, and in your arm and leg muscles
  • Bleeding from an injury, especially if you have a severe form of hemophilia
  • Painful, prolonged headache
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Neck pain
  • Double vision

When to see a doctor

Prolonged bleeding after circumcision may be the first indication of hemophilia in a baby boy. In boys who aren't circumcised, easy bruising when the child becomes more mobile may lead to the diagnosis. The first episode of bleeding generally occurs by the time a child is 2 years old.

If your child bruises easily, see your doctor. If your child has heavy bleeding that can't be stopped after an injury, seek emergency medical care.

If you're pregnant or considering pregnancy, and have a family history of hemophilia, talk to your doctor. You may be referred to a specialist in medical genetics or bleeding disorders, who can help you determine if you are a carrier of hemophilia. If you are a carrier, it's possible to determine during pregnancy if the fetus is affected by hemophilia.

Sep. 11, 2014

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