Lower-Extremity Edema During Late Pregnancy
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT, also called venous thrombosis) is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body. The clot may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein. Most DVTs occur in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis, although they also can occur in other parts of the body including the arm, brain, intestines, liver or kidney. Aug 07, · This is a condition that can develop during pregnancy and causes dangerously high blood pressure. redness, or heat, this could mean you have a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. A DVT .
Although anyone can develop a blood clot, women are at higher risk for a blood clot during pregnancy, childbirth, and up to 3-months after delivering a baby. In fact, pregnant women are 5 times more likely to experience a blood clot compared with women who are not pregnant. Learn about pregnancy-related blood clots and tips on protecting yourself and your baby for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
A blood clot in the deep vein also known as a deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a medical condition that typically occurs in the lower leg, thigh, pelvis or arm. When a DVT is left untreated, a part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a blockage called a pulmonary embolism PE. A PE can stop blood from reaching the lungs and can be deadly. Although blood clots are preventable, a PE is one of the most common causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States.
Pregnant women may also experience less blood flow to the legs later in pregnancy because the blood vessels around the pelvis are pressed upon by the growing baby. The likelihood of developing a blood clot increases with the more risk factors you have. Use the Blood Clot Risk Checklist for pregnant women to help you determine your risk.
Through my personal story, I hope that other women can better understand the very real possibility of a blood clot during pregnancy, and perhaps even save a life.
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When a DVT is left untreated, a part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a blockage called a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE can stop blood from reaching the lungs and can be deadly. Although blood clots are preventable, a PE is one of the most common causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States. Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women Pregnancy back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint. There are many possible reasons why it happens. Evaluation of patients with lower-extremity edema during late pregnancy aims to exclude DVT, preeclampsia, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and other pathologic causes of edema. Physiologic edema is a diagnosis of exclusion.
Factor V Leiden is the most common genetic predisposition to blood clots. Individuals born with FVL are more likely to develop vein clots deep vein thrombosis or DVT and pulmonary embolism PE , but not heart attacks, strokes or blood clots in the arteries of the legs.
If you have FVL, the risk of developing abnormal blood clots may depend on whether you have the heterozygous or the homozygous mutation. While DVT usually involves the veins of the legs or arms, it can more rarely occur in other veins of the body, such as veins of the liver, kidneys, intestines or brain.
Pulmonary embolism occurs when pieces or fragments of a blood clot — usually from a DVT of the leg - break off and travel to the vessels in the lungs. FVL can only be inherited from a parent who has the mutation, which is more common among individuals of Northern European ancestry. In the U. This gene helps our body make the coagulation factor V protein, which is one of the many proteins in our coagulation system that help our blood clot after an injury. As a result, people with FVL are at higher risk of developing abnormal blood clots.
The FVL mutation in itself does not cause any symptoms. Both of these conditions are medical emergencies. Your doctor can diagnose FVL by ordering special screening and confirmatory blood tests that are specific to detect the presence of the mutation.
Despite the fact that FVL can be diagnosed by simple blood tests, such testing is not necessary in every person with a personal or family history of DVT or PE. If you think that testing may be indicated for you, it is very important that you discuss your concerns with your doctor s prior to being tested.
The factor V Leiden mutation itself does not have any specific treatment. But when a person is diagnosed with an acute deep vein thrombosis DVT or pulmonary emblolism PE , treatment with anticoagulants blood thinners will be necessary and should be started as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of symptoms, other treatments may be necessary as well. Oftentimes those treatments will require hospitalization.
Individuals who happen to know that they have FVL — but have never had blood clots — do not have to be prescribed any blood thinners. But it is important that these individuals discuss with their doctors what they should be aware about — and what they can do to minimize — the risk of DVT or PE. Some issues that can be discussed with your doctor include:. Other than the increased risk of developing DVT or PE, FVL may increase the risk of miscarriage or other pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and eclampsia, placental abruption when the placenta separates too early from the wall of the uterus , and having a fetus that grows slower than is usual.
Miscarriages associated with FVL are more likely to occur later in pregnancy after the first trimester. But because there are many risk factors associated with the development of those pregnancy complications, there is still debate and uncertainty as to how much the FVL mutation is a cause or just another contributing factor of those pregnancy complications. Most people who have with FVL will never develop blood clots. Most women with the condition will have healthy, normal pregnancies.
But the risks may be higher if a person has inherited two mutated copies of the gene one from each parent. In most cases, the FVL mutation itself does not warrant lifelong anticoagulants. However, if a person has more than one episode of DVT or PE, or has additional clotting risks, long-term treatment with anticoagulants may be necessary.
If you develop any symptoms of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, you should either contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest Emergency Department.
These conditions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical treatment. Thrombophilia is a term used to define clotting disorders in general, whether they are inherited familial or not.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Factor V Leiden People who have the genetic disorder called Factor V Leiden pronounced factor Five Leiden are more likely than others to develop blood clots. These clots can cause life-threatening issues if they reach the lungs and can sometimes interfere with pregnancy.
Some issues that can be discussed with your doctor include: Effective measures to eliminate or reduce other risk factors for DVT or PE, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and having a more active lifestyle Need or not to wear graded elastic compression stockings during long-haul flights and long road trips Avoidance of alcoholic beverages during long flights Counseling prior to taking birth control pills or before becoming pregnant What other complications are associated with factor V Leiden FVL?
There are currently no genetic treatments that can prevent inheritance of FVL from a parent. If you have FVL, you may have several questions for your doctor, including: What can I do to help prevent blood clots from forming? How can I make sure my pregnancy is healthy? What are the chances of passing down the Factor V genetic mutation to my children?