Thrombophilia is a condition in which the blood has an increased tendency to form blood clots. Pregnancy is a state in which the woman’s blood becomes more prone to clotting, and this tendency is further enhanced in women with thrombophilia. This can lead to serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
TYPES OF THROMBOPHILIA
Inherited thrombophilias include factor V Leiden mutation, prothrombin G20210A mutation (also referred to as factor II mutation), protein C deficiency, protein S deficiency, antithrombin deficiency and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase mutations. Acquired thrombophilia is associated with antiphospholipid syndrome and unfortunately is one of the most severe forms of thrombophilia.
TESTING FOR THROMBOPHILIA
Congenital thrombophilias are detected by genetic testing for mutations. Antiphospholipid syndrome is diagnosed when there are positive tests for lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies and anti-β2-glycoprotein antibodies.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THROMBOPHILIA?
Thrombophilia can increase the risk of conditions such as pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, stillbirth, and placental abruption. Women with thrombophilia are also at higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during pregnancy.
Apart from pregnancy complications, thrombophilia is connected to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
To manage the risks associated with thrombophilia during pregnancy, women may need to take anticoagulant medications, which help to prevent blood clots from forming. They may also require regular ultrasounds to monitor the health of the fetus and placenta. Even if you suspect you may suffer from thrombophilia, don’t take any medications unless they have been prescribed by a physician!
It is important for women with thrombophilia to discuss their pregnancy plans with their healthcare provider and receive appropriate counseling and treatment to reduce the risk of complications.