By Dr Hitu Madan , Gynaecology
A blood clot is formed when the blood flow is blocked by cells called platelets. Blood clots are a very serious concern if they occur during or after pregnancy owing to a developing baby. They usually are formed in the deeper veins present in the pelvic regions or in the legs. This condition is called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). A fatal event called Pulmonary Embolism (PE) occurs when a DVT is broken off, causing it to travels to the blood vessels present in the lungs.
Venous Thromboembolism is a condition which is a combination of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary embolism (PE). This is a preventable condition. A rarely occurring condition, blood clots affect a maximum of 2 women out of every 1000. It is most likely that women experience a blood clot either in the first six weeks after giving birth or in the first three months of pregnancy.
The risk of development of blood clot during pregnancy increases the following:
1. Past blood clots
2. Smoking or frequent exposure to second-hand smoke
3. Overweight or Obesity
4. Multiple Births
5. Genetic history of blood clots
6. Higher maternal age
7. Having a caesarean section
It is a common tendency for women to be sensitive and aware of possible complications during pregnancy. Some signs of blood clots, even though they are unlikely, include:
1. Pain which worsens during walking
2. Pain or swelling in one leg
3. Presence of veins which appear to be larger than normal
DVT can cause serious complications, some of which are listed below:
2. Heart Attack
3. Blood clots occurring in Placenta
How can you Prevent and Treat Blood Clots during Pregnancy?
Prevention of DVT is important, and can be achieved by a healthy lifestyle. Staying active is a crucial component in combating DVT, so check with your healthcare provider to see which activities and types of exercises you can do. Regular exercise improves circulation and can keep clots from forming. It is also important to eat healthily, and if you are currently smoking, you should stop immediately. It is important to notify your healthcare provider, if you feel you may be at risk of DVT.