von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) is almost always passed on from parents to their children through an abnormal gene. Unlike haemophilia (which is passed on by women and only affects men), vWD affects both women and men and can be passed on from either the mother or father.

True vWD is caused by mutations (changes) in the gene for von Willebrand’s Factor (vWF). You can inherit Type 1 or Type 2 vWD if only one of your parents passes a mutated vWF gene to you. You can inherit Type 3 vWD if both of your parents pass a mutated vWF gene onto you. A person can have a mutated vWF gene without symptoms of vWD. However, he or she can still pass the mutated vWF genes onto their children.