At this time, there is no simple way to prevent hemophilia in someone who inherits a defective gene and thus produces too little clotting factor. If hemophilia runs in your family, you can be tested to see whether you carry the defective gene and receive counseling about your chance for having children with hemophilia.
Gene therapy clinical trials began in early 1999 in an attempt to cure hemophilia, and in vitro fertilization may allow selection and implantation of embryos that lack the hemophilia gene; but these are still considered experimental.
Hemophilia refers to a group of inherited disorders that cause abnormal bleeding. The bleeding occurs because part of the blood -- called plasma -- has too little of a protein that helps blood clot.
Symptoms of hemophilia range from increased bleeding after trauma, injury, or surgery to sudden bleeding with no apparent cause. There are two types of hemophilia:
Hemophilia A -- also called classic hemophilia -- is most common and occurs in about 80% of people with hemophilia.