VTE Accounts 10% of Maternal Deaths8
Pregnancy DVT Risks
During pregnancy DVT risks increase. “One in 500 women who are pregnant or up to 6 weeks post partum, are affected by DVT. That is 10 times the risk than women the same age who are not pregnant.”10 Why do risks increase during pregnancy? It is because blood is more likely to clot as a safeguard against losing too much blood.
Pregnant women can be at risk anytime throughout their pregnancy but women are most likely to experience a blood clot in their first three months of pregnancy or in the first six weeks after giving birth. You could be at greater risk if:
- You have experienced DVT before
- There is a family history of DVT
- You smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke frequently
- You are over 35 years old
- You are overweight
- You travel long distances while pregnant
- You are expecting multiples
- You are immobile for long periods of time
- You have a Cesarean section
Some signs that may indicate the possibility of a blood clot are swelling or pain in one leg, pain that worsens when you walk, and veins that look larger than normal. There is no need for alarm unless you feel you may be at risk, in which case you should speak with your healthcare provider. However, DVT is a serious condition for anyone and should not be taken lightly if you suspect you are at risk. It can dangerously affect your pregnancy by causing blood clots in the placenta, a heart attack, a stroke, a pulmonary embolism, or a miscarriage.
Prevention of DVT is important, and can be achieved by a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Check with your healthcare provider to see which activities and types of exercises you can do or if you should take other measures to prevent the onset of DVT.