While pregnant women are already at increased risk of blood clots, some women are at even greater risk if they have clotting disorders in their personal or family history. Blood clots block arteries and blood vessels, diminishing or preventing blood flow to essential organs. In pregnant women, this may include the placenta. When blood cannot flow properly through the placenta, the baby cannot get the nutrients and oxygen it needs for healthy development.
Risks of Clotting Disorders
Thrombophilia threatens the mother’s health, but it also puts the pregnancy at risk for complications including:
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
- Severe preeclampsia
- Miscarriage after 10 weeks
- Placental abruption (the placenta separates from the uterine lining too soon)
It’s important to remember that these are worst case scenarios, and with proper treatment, women with clotting disorders are very likely to carry a healthy pregnancy to term. If you have a family history of blood clots, try obtain accurate details of your relatives’ condition and bring your concerns to your doctor. Your doctor will talk to you about reducing your risk and managing your care.
Types of Clotting Disorders
- Prothrombin G20210A mutation
- Factor V Leiden mutation
- Antithrombin III (abbreviated as “AT III”) deficiency
- Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677 (“MTHFR”) mutation
- Protein S deficiency
- Protein C deficiency
Some women didn’t know that they have an inherited blood clotting disorder until they develop symptoms a few weeks into their pregnancy. It’s even possible that no one in your family knows or has outward signs of thrombophilia. This is why it’s important to have regular physical check-ups with your doctor and attend all of your prenatal appointments so that your health can be carefully monitored.
Treatment of Blood Clot During Pregnancy
Because blood clots can be so dangerous to a mother and her baby, it’s not uncommon for a gynecologist to prescribe blood thinners throughout the pregnancy and for 6-8 weeks after delivery.
There are many treatment plans and drugs available. We may refer you to a maternal-fetal specialist or a hematologist who will work with you to determine the best regimen for your personal and family history. Anti-coagulants, like unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin, are safe for the developing baby and are commonly prescribed for pregnant women.