What raises the risk of blood clots during pregnancy?
The three main risk factors (things that increase risk) for
deep vein thrombosis and
pulmonary embolism are abnormal clotting, reduced
blood flow, and damage to the veins. These risks are all higher during
pregnancy, most likely because of:
Changes in hormone levels and blood composition
that influence clotting.
Reduced blood flow in the legs due to the
weight of the fetus pressing upon veins.
A pregnant woman who is diagnosed with deep vein
thrombosis or pulmonary embolism will work with her doctor to decide which anticoagulant medicine to take during pregnancy. She may take heparin, because it has not been shown to affect
After delivery, the woman might take another anticoagulant for a few weeks or a few months.