Heart & Blood Condition

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Condition


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is deep venous thrombosis during pregnancy?

Thrombosis is the medical word for a blood clot. The ability for blood to clot, or coagulate (transform from a liquid into a hardened state), is vital, as it enables the body to repair blood vessels. If your capability to form clots decreases, due to a problem with one of the many different chemical agents that the body produces in what’s called the coagulation cascade, you could suffer hemorrhages, severe bleeding. However, too much of a tendency to clot is also dangerous, because it means that your body is at risk to form clots when and where they aren’t needed. Clots can form in arteries, blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to nourish body tissues, usually because of a disease process in the wall lining the inside of the artery. Clots also can develop in veins, blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart, usually because of problems with the coagulation system. During pregnancy, the coagulation system is overactive, meaning that there is an increased tendency for blood to clot. At the same time, pregnancy also causes blood to stop moving in certain places in the venous system (a process known as venous stasis), because of the growing womb causing the contents of the abdomen and pelvis to rearrange, subjecting certain veins to pressure. These factors put women at risk to form venous thrombi during pregnancy and the weeks following delivery.


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