Managing, treating and preventing DVT during your pregnancy

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month emphasized the dangers of DVT and why pregnant women in particular should be knowledgeable about the condition and how to prevent it impacting on the health of both yourself and your baby.

DVT is caused as a result of increased clotting in the veins, most commonly in the legs, thighs or pelvis. Unfortunately, pregnant women experience an increase in blood clotting levels which make them up to ten times more likely to develop DVT than a non-pregnant woman. During pregnancy, the veins are under even more pressure than normal due to the woman’s enlarged uterus which can also lead to issues with blood clotting.

You can also be more likely to suffer from DVT if there is a history of thrombosis in your family or you have already suffered from thrombophilia, a condition where clotting occurs at a much faster rate. The same is true with varicose veins. If you have experienced this previously, then you may be more likely to also suffer from DVT. The age of a woman during pregnancy also plays a key role in making an individual more susceptible to suffering from DVT, as the likelihood of developing the condition increases once you reach 35.

It is important to remember that the effects of DVT can be life-threatening for both expectant mothers and their baby if left untreated. Blood clotting should be a serious concern for women throughout their pregnancy and even six months after giving birth.

How to spot the symptoms of DVT?

Usually the first sign of DVT sufferers experience is a swelling, pain or tenderness in the legs; in the vast majority of cases, pregnant women will suffer from DVT in their left leg. Reddening of the skin is another symptom and this can usually be found behind the knee and in the area around the calf.

It is important that you don’t disregard the symptoms of DVT as evidence of muscle cramps. DVT is a far more serious condition and you should consult a doctor as soon as possible if you think you may be suffering from it. Muscle cramps are common in pregnant women but, unlike blood clots, will not cause swelling and can be eased by stretching.

Table of Contents
1. Deep Vein Thrombosis
2. Deep Vein Thrombosis1
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