When you experience a blood clot in your leg, pelvis or thighs then you may have DVT or a deep vein thrombosis. The condition is not very common but pregnant women are prone to get DVT more than women who are not pregnant.
DVT is caused because during pregnancy the blood clotting proteins increase and the level of the anti-clotting protein decreases. The uterus gets enlarged during pregnancy and this also increases the risk because the veins in the lower body are exposed to additional pressure and this causes trouble for the blood to return to the heart.
Only in about 1 in 1000 pregnant women could develop a case of DVT.
Reasons why DVT is more common during pregnancy and during the postpartum phase?
Nature-tends to increase the clotting ability of blood around the time of birth. Sometimes it happens too much. And this is why the condition of DVT is more common in pregnant women and after birth.
Who is at risk of developing DVT?
Clotting of blood is not something that is common but you definitely are more prone to blood clotting when you are pregnant. You are 10 times more likely to develop the condition. The risk of a blood clot increases with pregnancy and this is the highest in the first three weeks after your delivery.
The reasons why the blood clotting is higher during pregnancy are:
- The body helps the placenta to work at the time of pregnancy and it also prevents excess loss of blood during labor and birth
- The flow of blood is less from your veins to your heart and legs. This is because of the pregnancy hormone and the uterus that gets larger.
- The baby presses the veins to your pelvis and this causes the clot to develop around where the damage is done.
Symptoms of Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
The common symptoms that you can look out for any signs of DVT on one leg are:
- Heavy and a painful feeling on the leg like a muscle gets pulled which stays for very long
- Feeling of warmth and tenderness in the calf region or the thigh region
- Experience severe or slight swelling on the leg
In case the clot moves to the lungs then you will experience:
- Pain in your chest
- Shortness of breath
- Blood coughing
- Rapid breathing rate
When should you approach the doctor?
In case you find any symptoms of DVT then approach the doctor immediately. The condition may not be severe and it will not harm either you or your baby. However, it could be threatening, if it gets serious so it is best to get your self-checked.
Conclusion – What treatment is given to a DVT patient?
You will have to meet an obstetrician or a hematologist to get treated during pregnancy. In order to treat the condition, you will be injected with heparin. This is an agent that helps to thin the blood. It stops the clot from getting bigger and lets the clot to dissolve in the body. It also prevents any further clots. You will be asked to come for regular check-ups to see if the clot has dissolved.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the content is gathered from secondary sources and is only for the purpose of information and this should not be treated as a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Using this site and the information contained in it is not to create a doctor-patient relationship. Always make sure to seek the advice of your doctor if you have any issues or questions regarding yours or the health of others.)