During pregnancy there is a greater tendency for the blood to clot inside the deep veins of the legs and, thus, VTE to occur
The pressure caused by the fetus on the veins of the legs, at groin level, the production of the placenta of procoagulant substances (to prevent bleeding) and the lower mobility of pregnant women, help the appearance of VTE.
Pregnant women run five times more risk of suffering VTE than non pregnant women of similar age.
Although the number of pregnancies with this disease is low, it is a problem of great relevance since PE it is one of the leading causes of death in pregnant women and during the postpartum period, and DVT in the legs can lead to permanent symptoms.
VTE symptoms in the legs can be confused with pregnancy symptoms themselves. Furthermore, PE symptoms can also occur in pregnant women without an embolism. However, the fact that these symptoms may be normal in a pregnant woman, should not delay the diagnosis of the disease.
All pregnant woman showing some of the symptoms described above, should have an ultrasound of their legs to rule a possible DVT out. When suspecting PE, there are examinations that can be done which incur little risk on the fetus in order to confirm or rule out the disease.
In pregnant women, anticoagulant therapy is given in the form of subcutaneous injections based on low-molecular-weight heparin: an injection a day, for one month after childbirth. Once the treatment is established, the evolution of the disease is generally good, with less than 2% of women suffering relapses or bleeding during the treatment.
A pregnant woman who has already had a DVT or a PE, is at a high risk of having a new episode during her pregnancy. In this case, a doctor must be consulted to receive a suitable prevention treatment throughout her pregnancy.
I am pregnant and my doctor told me that I must walk every day, because I run the risk of suffering a thrombosis. How do I know if I have it?
A thrombosis, if appearing, would cause you pain and/or swelling in the leg. If it was a pulmonary embolism, you would have difficulty in breathing when making an effort that normally would not have this effect on you. In these cases, you should consult your physician.
I am four weeks pregnant and a few years ago, I suffered a pulmonary embolism. Am I at risk of this condition recurring? Can I do something to prevent it?
Go to your doctor. Surely, he/she will prescribe some medication that you should take to prevent a new embolism during your entire pregnancy.
Do you have questions?
If there are any aspects of thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism that you are not sure about, you can contact us, and our specialists will answer you shortly. This cannot replace the visit to your doctor