If you’re pregnant, looking to become pregnant, or have recently delivered a baby, you may not be aware of the effect that pregnancy has on your risk of blood clots.
Here is a guide to what women need to know about blood clots and pregnancy.
Pregnancy Raises Your Risk of Blood Clots
Due to natural changes that occur during pregnancy, you are at a higher risk of a blood clot during pregnancy, childbirth, and for up to 3 months after delivery. There are a few reasons for this.
Blood clots in deep veins are also known as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. These clots usually occur in the arm, lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. If the DVT is not treated, part of the blockage may become dislodged and travel through the vein to the lungs. This may cause a pulmonary embolism (PE), which stops blood from reaching the lungs properly, and can be life-threatening. PE is one of the leading causes of death during pregnancy in the US.
In addition to pregnancy, you may be at a higher risk of a blood clot if you have a personal or family history of blood clotting disorders, have delivered a baby via C-section, are not able to move much during or after pregnancy, have diabetes, or have other certain heart and lung conditions.
We highly recommend discussing your personal health history with an experienced OBGYN during your pregnancy, and talking about the factors that may increase your risk of experiencing a serious blood clot like DVT.
Your OBGYN may recommend taking steps such as walking more, doing leg stretches, exercising the calf muscles, or taking baby aspirin to reduce clotting factors in your blood during pregnancy.
At Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville, our experienced doctors will be with you every step of the way, from conception to birth and postpartum recovery. Need expert guidance during your pregnancy in Nashville? Contact us online or give us a call at (615) 329-6745 to get started.