Thrombosis in pregnancy: symptoms, prevention and risk factors

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Thrombosis in pregnancy

La deep vein thrombosis it is caused by the formation of a blood clot and, although it is not common in pregnancy, it is still an event to be prevented and treated promptly. During pregnancy, up to 90% of DVTs occur in the left leg. Early treatment can prevent a clot from breaking off and traveling through the circulatory system to the lungs. Let's see what the symptoms are and how to prevent them thrombosis in pregnancy.

In this article

  • Risk of thrombosis in pregnancy
  • Thrombosis, symptoms
  • Pelvic thrombosis, symptoms
  • What are the risks
  • How to prevent thrombosis in pregnancy
  • Tests for thrombosis in pregnancy
  • Thrombosis in pregnancy cure

Risk of pregnancy thrombosis

When you are pregnant, you are five times more likely to have a thrombus compared to a woman who is not expecting. This is due to the changes that occur in the female body during pregnancy:

  • Blood clots more easily,
  • The growing baby presses on the blood vessels around the pelvis, reducing blood flow to the legs.

The risk of developing thrombosis during pregnancy is even greater if:

  • a close family member suffered from the same problem;
  • you are over 35 years old;
  • you are obese;
  • there has been a recent injury, such as a fracture, or a severe infection;
  • the woman has thrombophilia;
  • the pregnancy is numerous;
  • the woman is a smoker;
  • pregnancy is the result of hormonal treatment for fertility;
  • the woman has severe varicose veins;
  • you are taking birth control pills;
  • hormone replacement therapy is followed;
  • you are resting in bed;
  • delivery is caesarean.

The risk of thrombosis also remains high during childbirth and up to 3 months after childbirth.

Read also: Disorders in pregnancy

Thrombosis, symptoms

Thrombosis does not always present with clear symptoms. It is common to have swelling or discomfort in the legs during pregnancy, so this symptom alone does not always mean that there is a serious problem. The most common signs of thrombosis include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain (even in certain circumstances, for example when walking or standing)
  • The veins appear larger than normal
  • Skin that is red, discolored or hot to the touch
  • Pain or tension that is not caused by an injury.

Pelvic thrombosis, symptoms

Clot formation mainly affects the veins in the lower limbs, but can also affect the veins in the pelvis (pelvic thrombosis). Symptoms are not always evident, but persistent pain in the groin should never be underestimated. In particular the thrombosis of the iliac vein, a large vein in the pelvis, can manifest itself as:

  • abdominal or back pain,
  • acute swelling affecting the entire leg.

What are the risks

Most of the time, the body breaks down a blood clot before it can cause serious problems. But during pregnancy, there is an increased risk that the clot will grow, rupture, and travel in the bloodstream to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Thrombosis can also cause:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Premature birth
  • Problems with fetal growth.

How to prevent thrombosis in pregnancy

To prevent blood clots from forming during pregnancy, it is important to first be aware of which ones are risk factors, pay attention to any symptoms and follow some useful measures:

  • Avoid standing still for too long: avoid crossing your legs, which hinder blood flow, do leg exercises if you are bedridden, raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels on the floor.
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy so as not to put on too many pounds
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Tests for thrombosis in pregnancy

All women facing pregnancy should undergo careful consideration assessment of risk factors for VTE in the first weeks of gestation or before pregnancy, however screening di thrombofilia it is not recommended for women who are asymptomatic, pregnant or about to face a first pregnancy, in the absence of a documented personal or family history of venous thromboembolism.

Thrombosis in pregnancy cure

Treatment for pregnant women isheparin low molecular weight. Your doctor may also recommend wearing compression stockings.


  • Deep venous thrombosis in pregnancy: incidence, pathogenesis and endovascular management
  • NHS
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