7 symptoms of thrombosis in pregnancy and how to treat

Thrombosis in pregnancy arises when a blood clot forms that blocks a vein or artery, preventing blood from passing through that location.

The most common type of thrombosis in pregnancy is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that occurs in the legs. This happens, not only because of hormonal changes in pregnancy, but also due to the compression of the uterus in the pelvic region, which hinders the circulation of blood in the legs.

If you think you may have signs of thrombosis in your legs, select what you are feeling to know your risk:

  1. 1. Sudden pain in one leg that worsens over time
  2. 2. Swelling in one leg, which increases
  3. 3. Intense redness in the affected leg
  4. 4. Feeling of heat when touching the swollen leg
  5. 5. Pain when touching the leg
  6. 6. Leg skin harder than normal
  7. 7. Dilated and more easily visible veins in the leg
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What to do if a thrombosis is suspected

In the presence of any symptom that may cause thrombosis to be suspected, the pregnant woman should immediately call 192 or go to the emergency room, since thrombosis is a serious disease that can cause pulmonary embolism in the mother if the clot moves to the lungs, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, bloody cough or chest pain.

When thrombosis occurs in the placenta or umbilical cord, there are usually no symptoms, but the decrease in the baby's movements may indicate that something is wrong with the blood circulation, and it is also important to seek medical attention in this situation.

Most common types of thrombosis in pregnancy

A pregnant woman has a 5 to 20 times greater risk of developing thrombosis than someone else, the most common types of which include:

  • Deep vein thrombosis: it is the most common type of thrombosis, and it affects the legs more frequently, although it can appear in any region of the body;
  • Hemorrhoidal thrombosis: can occur when the pregnant woman has hemorrhoids and is more frequent when the baby is very heavy or during delivery, causing severe pain in the anal area and bleeding;
  • Placental thrombosis: caused by a clot in the placental veins, which can cause abortion in the most severe cases. The main sign of this type of thrombosis is the decrease in the baby's movements;
  • Umbilical cord thrombosis: in spite of being a very rare situation, this type of thrombosis occurs in the umbilical cord vessels, preventing the blood flow to the baby and also reducing the baby's movements;
  • Cerebral thrombosis: caused by a clot that reaches the brain, causing stroke symptoms, such as lack of strength on one side of the body, difficulty speaking and a crooked mouth, for example.

Thrombosis in pregnancy, although rare, is more frequent in pregnant women over the age of 35, who have had a thrombosis episode in a previous pregnancy, are pregnant with twins or are overweight. This condition is dangerous, and when identified, it must be treated by the obstetrician with injections of anticoagulants, such as heparin, during pregnancy and 6 weeks after delivery.

How the treatment is done

Thrombosis in pregnancy is curable, and treatment should be indicated by the obstetrician and usually includes the use of heparin injections, which help to dissolve the clot, decreasing the risk of new clots.

In most cases, treatment for thrombosis in pregnancy should be continued until the end of pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after delivery, because during the birth of the baby, whether by normal or cesarean delivery, the abdominal and pelvic veins of women suffer injuries that can increase the risk of clots.

How to prevent thrombosis in pregnancy

Some precautions to prevent thrombosis in pregnancy are:

  • Wear compression stockings from the beginning of pregnancy, to facilitate blood circulation;
  • Regular light exercise, such as walking or swimming, to improve blood circulation;
  • Avoid lying more than 8 hours or more than 1 hour sitting;
  • Do not cross your legs, as it hinders blood circulation in your legs;
  • Have a healthy diet, low in fat and high in fiber and water;
  • Avoid smoking or living with people who smoke, because cigarette smoke can increase the risk of thrombosis.

This care must be done mainly by the pregnant woman who had a thrombosis in the previous pregnancy. In addition, the pregnant woman should inform the obstetrician who has already had a thrombosis, to start treatment with heparin injections, if necessary, in order to prevent the appearance of a new thrombosis.