Deep Vein Thrombosis During Pregnancy

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The changes that affect your body during pregnancy make you much more susceptible to experiencing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), although it’s still relatively uncommon.

This is a condition where a blood clot forms in the ‘deep’ veins of the legs and sometimes in the pelvis area.

If the clot becomes dislodged, there’s a risk that it may travel to the lungs – causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening.

If you’ve got a family history of DVT, are having twins (or more), or have previously experienced thrombosis – it’s well worth talking to a doctor.

Our GPs can provide practical advice on risk factors, preventing DVT and if necessary, refer you on for further tests or treatment.

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What Causes DVT During Pregnancy?

While DVT can happen to anyone, it’s more common during pregnancy and shortly after childbirth.

It’s thought that the changes that mums-to-be go through in maternity make blood clots more common as a defence against losing too much blood during childbirth.

The uterus also expands during pregnancy, which can put increased pressure on veins that transport blood from the lower body to the heart.

Some of the most common symptoms include:
  • Pain or tenderness in the leg
  • Unexplained patches of redness developing at the back of the leg
  • Swelling and aching in the affected area

Since discomfort and swelling are common during pregnancy, experiencing these aren’t always the sign of something more serious, but if you’re in an at-risk group, or are worried about any symptoms – you should speak to a medical professional.

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Treating DVT During Pregnancy

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent the development of DVT, including staying as active as possible and using a specially-prescribed compression stocking to help promote circulation in your leg.

Mums-to-be suffering from DVT are typically treated using regular injections of anticoagulants that prevent the blood clot from growing and minimise the risk of further clots developing.

If you’re concerned about DVT, don’t delay – speak to a doctor today.

Our expert GPs can discuss your symptoms, examine the affected area and if necessary, refer you on for further testing or treatment.

Talk to a Doctor About DVT