By Dr. Shanthala S, Gynaecology
Deep Vein Thrombosis which is abbreviated as DVT is the medical condition characterized by formation of a blood clot within a deep seated vein. It has been observed that majority of pregnant women are quite prone to developing this particular condition. Around 80% of the women tend to develop deep vein thrombosis in their left leg. Developing a clot during thrombosis can be quite serious and if left untreated can further lead to life threatening complications.
Why Does Blood Clotting Increases During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy the blood clotting capacity of the body increases to a certain extent. It generally occurs as a precautionary measure to prevent excessive bleeding during childbirth. The amount of protein that is responsible for clotting of blood increases in comparison to the protein that prevents clotting. There are several other causes that contribute to Deep Vein Thrombosis such as enlargement of the uterus which tends to create more pressure on the veins thus resulting in a blood clot.
There are several factors that tend to increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy. Common factors include age i.e. if you are 35 years or older during your pregnancy, the chances of Deep Vein Thrombosis increases considerably. Other factors include hypertension or preeclampsia, severe varicose veins, a family history of deep vein thrombosis, excessive smoking or if you have a C-section surgery.
The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are usually observed in one leg. The symptoms are basically characterized by a sharp pain in the leg which does not go away, softness and tenderness in the thigh or the calf and inflammation in the leg. Sometimes the blood clot in the leg can move upwards towards our lungs and can form a blood clot there. Symptoms of this particular condition include blood in the mucus when you cough, difficulty in breathing, chest pain and a rapid heart rate.
There are a lot of ways to prevent development of deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy. The common preventive measures include several pregnancy exercises to maintain blood flow throughout the body and walking and stretching at regular intervals. The primary aim is to maintain proper blood flow and regular circulation throughout the body.