Spotting the signs and symptoms of haemophilia

Welcome back to our Changing Haemophilia® blog! It’s April and we are celebrating World Hemophilia Day (WHD), organised by the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH).


Published 27 March 2019 | 2 min read

Haemophilia. What’s your first thought? Bleeding? This is one of the obvious signs of haemophilia but symptoms run a lot deeper than the bleeding that people can see. As haemophilia is a rare blood disorder, not everyone would really know a lot about it if they aren’t directly affected and there are a few misconceptions you may have come across.

  • Haemophilia isn’t contagious, but is a genetic disorder. However, it doesn’t mean that children will definitely inherit it if either parent has haemophilia or is a haemophilia carrier¹
  • Having haemophilia means that it takes more time for bleeding to stop, because the blood doesn’t contain enough blood clotting factors that would normally help close a wound²
  • Haemophilia isn’t something that can be outgrown. Fortunately, with timely diagnosis and advances in treatment, children these days can still look forward to living a normal life³

Look beyond the bleeding

People with haemophilia can suffer a mixture of physical and psychological symptoms, including pain, difficulties in moving around, anxiety and depression.⁴

Painful, swollen joints caused by internal bleeding are often the biggest concern for patients.⁵ Internal bleeding in the muscles and joints is the hidden side of haemophilia and actually happens more often than any external bleeding people can see. The most commonly affected joints are the ankles, knees and elbows. The bleeding can also happen for no obvious reason. That’s why having rapid access to the right treatment is important to prevent untreated joint bleeds going on to cause long-term problems such as joint destruction and arthritis.⁶,⁷

Don’t delay diagnosis and treatment

With increased awareness of haemophilia, we hope that more people will spot the signs and go to their doctor for a diagnosis if they’re concerned about anything in this blog.


  1. World Federation of Hemophilia. How do you get hemophilia? [Accessed February 2019].
  2. World Federation of Hemophilia. What is hemophilia? [Accessed February 2019].
  3. NHS. Haemophilia [Accessed February 2019].
  4. FDA. The voice of the patient: [Accessed February 2019].
  5. NHS. Haemophilia symptoms [Accessed February 2019].
  6. World Federation of Hemophilia. Symptoms and diagnosis: [Accessed February 2019].
  7. World Federation of Hemophilia. Frequently asked questions. [Accessed February 2019]