Blood Clots During Pregnancy Treatment and Risk Factors

Blood Clots During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing blood clots. During this time, the blood clots much easier making it more likely for dangerous clots to form. Typically, these occur in the legs. Because of the sensitive nature of health during pregnancy, it is very important that if a clot forms that medical attention be obtained immediately should blood clots during pregnancy appear.

During pregnancy, the risk of developing a DVT or deep vein thrombosis, is increased. These are larger clots that form in the large veins of the legs. Sometimes, these clots can dislodge and travel to other areas of the body. For instance, a pulmonary embolism occurs when a clot has moved into the lung. This is an often life threatening condition and is considered a medical emergency. Clots from the legs can also move to other parts of the body as well including the heart and the brain.

Immobility is one of the most common blood clot causes. Sitting for long periods of time such as that which occurs during travel can increase the likelihood of the formation of a blood clot. Long periods of bed rest, which are not uncommon during pregnancy, especially in the later weeks, can also contribute to blood clot causes. There are some risk factors that may increase the likelihood of blood clots during pregnancy as well. Obesity is one such risk factor, and it may make clots more likely. And, there are some genetic predispositions to consider as well, such as a family history of blood clotting disorders. Previous surgical deliveries can also contribute to an increased risk of the formation of blood clots too.

The standard treatment for non life threatening blood clots during pregnancy is the use of anticoagulant medications. This will assist somewhat in helping to break up the existing clot, which will make it easier for the body to absorb it. Additionally, the use of these medications can be beneficial to preventing the formation of future or subsequent clots as well.

Sometimes, aspirin is recommended for pregnant women who are at a higher risk of developing clots. However, the use of aspirin is not recommended all throughout pregnancy and is ill advisable after 32 weeks. During this time, using aspirin can lead to problems within blood vessels in the baby’s heart and an increased risk of bleeding. Labor can also be prolonged with the use of aspirin during pregnancy. However, it is not uncommon for low doses of aspirin to be recommended for pregnant mothers. But, close monitoring is often required during the period that the aspirin is being taken in order to keep a close eye on potentially developing complications.

It is very important that women who experience blood clots during pregnancy seek medical care promptly. There are many natural treatment options for the prevention of blood clots; however they are no substitute for sound medical care during this important time. The use of medications may be unnerving to some expecting mothers, however blood clots during pregnancy can prove to be serious and even life threatening. Anyone considering natural blood thinners like herbs should do so only under the advice and permission of a health care provider. And, it is incredibly important that natural options for blood thinning not be used in conjunction with medications designed for the same purpose. Combining blood thinning foods like salicylate rich berries with anticoagulant medications can create a serious drug interaction where the blood is thinned out too much. And many items on the known herbal blood thinners list including ginger and garlic can prove to be incredibly potent and can interfere with medications prescribed by a doctor. While natural healing options can be great ways to prevent the risk of clots in otherwise healthy people or those who have encountered superficial clots, they are not suitable treatment options in pregnant women unless they have been discussed with and approved by a doctor.

Any pregnant woman experiencing blood clot symptoms or has a visible clot should seek immediate medical care. Additionally, while menstrual blood clots are not related to those that appear in the veins, these can be incredibly serious and signal a miscarriage. In general, blood clots during pregnancy can be very serious and will require the close care and monitoring of a doctor or health care provider. Increasing activity level, reducing or eliminating risk factors and committing to regular and sound medical care are the best ways to reduce the increased risk of a blood clot that comes with pregnancy.

References:
http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Clots/Pregnancy.aspx
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Pregnancy-Dec-2010-Babies/blood-clotting-while-pregnant/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspirin-during-pregnancy/

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