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Clotting Disorders during Pregnancy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What do I need to know about clotting disorders during pregnancy?

Pregnancy increases your risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE). A VTE is a blood clot (thrombus) that has formed in a vein. A VTE can form anywhere in your body and block blood flow. A VTE in the deep veins in the calfs, thighs, pelvis, or arms is called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). A piece of the clot may break loose. This is called an embolus. The embolus can travel to your lungs and cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE). The 6 weeks after delivery is also a period of increased risk. A condition with abnormal clotting of your blood (thrombophilia) can develop on its own. It can also be inherited. Thrombophilia also increases your risk for VTE. Thrombophilia puts you at risk for problems during pregnancy such as preeclampsia and miscarriage.

What increases my risk for clotting disorders while I am pregnant?

What are the signs and symptoms of a VTE or DVT?

Your symptoms will depend on the location of the clot. You may have any of the following:

DVT Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of a PE?

How are clotting disorders diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may recommend screening if your risk for a clotting disorder is high. Screening may include tests to check for a clotting disorder or for a blood clot. Any of the following may be used:

How are clotting disorders treated while I am pregnant?

Anticoagulant medicines such as heparin may be needed throughout your pregnancy. You may also need the medicine for a short time after you give birth.

How can I prevent blood clots?

Call your local emergency number (911) in the US if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor or obstetrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.