Venous thromboembolism is a deadly medical condition in which a blood clot forms most often in the deep veins of the leg, groin, or arm. The clot can also travel in the blood circulation, affecting the lungs. Women who are pregnant or in the postpartum period have a 4- to 5-fold increased risk of thromboembolism compared with nonpregnant women. The condition is quite common and may become severe during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Therefore, its management and treatment should be given extra consideration. Regular blood tests that are prescribed by your gynecologist in lahore must be carried out in order to keep an eye on the development of thromboembolism. Its early diagnosis can prevent you and your baby from multiple complications.
Let’s learn other facts about blood clots during pregnancy.
Hypercoagulability is the main cause of the increased risk of VTE during pregnancy. Blood clots are particularly dangerous for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the first three months after the delivery. This is why pregnant women are more prone to getting venous thromboembolism:
- A woman’s blood clots more readily during pregnancy, which helps reduce blood loss during labor and delivery.
- Due to the growing baby pressing against the blood vessels around the pelvis, pregnant women may also suffer decreased blood flow to the legs later in the pregnancy
Some elements that may raise a pregnant woman’s risk for blood clots include:
- a blood clotting condition or a family history of blood clots
- birthed through c-section
- prolonged inactivity (not moving around much), such as being on bedrest due to pregnancy complications or when recovering from childbirth
- birth and pregnancy complications
- chronic medical diseases, like diabetes or disorders of the heart or lungs
You need to discuss the possible causes of your increased risk of blood clots with your gynecologist. If you or any family members have ever been diagnosed with blood clotting disease, inform your doctor.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of blood clots is important to protect yourself and your baby during pregnancy and after delivery.
There are two types of thromboembolism and both can affect you and can be life threatening during pregnancy.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: A blood clot occurring in the legs or arms is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Signs and symptoms of a DVT include:
- Swelling of the affected limb
- Pain or tenderness not caused by injury
- Skin that is warm to the touch, red, or discolored
- Pulmonary Embolism: A blood clot in the legs or arms can break off and travel to the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE), and can be life threatening. Signs and symptoms of a PE include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or cough
- Coughing up blood
- Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat
If you encounter any of these symptoms, get medical help right away.
Procoagulant abnormalities that cause thrombosis and infarction of the placental arteries account for about 55% of recurrent miscarriages.
Blood clotting disorders are a common occurrence for pregnant women. Some women experience issues as a result of this disorder while others don’t. In severe cases, Venous thromboembolism can be fatal for the mother and the child.
Drugs called low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) may be recommended to pregnant women who are at high risk for blood clots or who already have blood clots during pregnancy or after delivery. During pregnancy, this medication is injected beneath the skin to prevent or treat blood clots. Anticoagulation should be continued until 6 weeks after delivery, with a 3-month minimum total duration.
A multidisciplinary strategy is necessary to manage delivery, including the choice of analgesia, and it is based on doctor’s preferences and patient-specific conditions. Options include waiting for spontaneous birth while temporarily interrupting LMWH along with induced labor or cesarean section. Make sure to discuss the appropriate management strategy with your OB/GYNE.
What can you do to prevent Venous thromboembolism ?
If you are on bed rest or had a C-section, work with your doctor to lower your risk for blood clots. Exercise as per your doctor’s advice. Every one to two hours, get up and walk around if you have been sitting for a while. Be sure to hydrate yourself. Use compression devices as per instructions and take drugs as advised to increase blood flow.