Von Willebrand Disease, Hemophilia, and Other Inherited Bleeding Disorders in Pregnancy

Luis D. Pacheco, George Saade, Andra H. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Inherited bleeding disorders, which comprise von Willebrand disease (VWD), hemophilia, other congenital clotting factor deficiencies, inherited platelet disorders, defects of fibrinolysis, and connective tissue disorders, have both maternal and fetal implications. Although mild platelet defects may actually be more prevalent, the most common diagnosed bleeding disorder among women is VWD. Other bleeding disorders, including hemophilia carriership, are much less common, but hemophilia carriers are unique in that they are at risk of giving birth to a severely affected male neonate. General guidance for maternal management of inherited bleeding disorders includes obtaining clotting factor levels in the third trimester, planning for delivery at a center with hemostasis expertise if factor levels do not meet the minimum threshold (eg, less than 0.50 international units/1 mL [50%] for von Willebrand factor, factor VIII, or factor IX), and using hemostatic agents such as factor concentrates, desmopressin, or tranexamic acid. General guidance for fetal management includes prepregnancy counseling, the option of preimplantation genetic testing for hemophilia, and consideration of delivery of potentially affected male neonates with hemophilia by cesarean delivery to reduce the risk of neonatal intracranial hemorrhage. In addition, delivery of possibly affected neonates should occur in a facility where there is newborn intensive care and pediatric hemostasis expertise. For patients with other inherited bleeding disorders, unless a severely affected neonate is anticipated, mode of delivery should be dictated by obstetric indications. Nonetheless, invasive procedures such as fetal scalp clip or operative vaginal delivery should be avoided, if possible, in any fetus potentially affected with a bleeding disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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