Myth or Fact: Clarifying Top Myths Regarding Hemophilia

By Francis Tunwase

Blood in patients with hemophilia doesn’t clot regularly, so these individuals may experience abnormally heavy bleeding upon injury and are more likely to suffer from intracranial hemorrhage, a particularly lethal kind of stroke.

The bleeding disorder known as hemophilia is uncommon and poorly understood by the public. The fact that it is a blood illness is often the extent of people’s knowledge; beyond that, many believe myths rather than facts. 

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Myth #1: Hemophilia only affects boys.

Hemophilia most commonly affects males and boys because the genes that code for the proteins are situated on the X chromosome. However, hemophilia can also affect women and girls. Affected X chromosomes can be inherited either from their affected father or affected mother, making female carriers.

Nonetheless, the CDC notes that, in rare instances, these individuals may exhibit hemophilia-like symptoms. Experts warn that excessive bleeding is possible following an accident, surgery, or gynecological procedure. 

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Myth #2: Hemophilia carriers can’t exercise.

Medicine has improved greatly over the years, and now there are lots of treatments that help the blood clot as it should. In other words, hemophilia carriers can lead a regular lifestyle and exercise routinely. In fact, physical activity is just as important for carriers as it is for non-carriers.

Myth #3: Only the British monarchs have hemophilia.

Lots of people only know of hemophilia because a former British monarch passed the condition onto her kids. However, the condition has existed since time immemorial and can affect any person, royal or peasant.

Most people get hemophilia from their ancestors, but there are patients who have no family record of the condition.