Thrombophilias refers to a group of disorders that promote blood clotting. If you have one of these disorders, your body tends to form blood clots too easily. While as many as one in five people in the United States has a thrombophilias, most people do not know they have one of these disorders because they produce no symptoms.
Pregnancy is a time when signs of thrombophilia are more common. Most women with a thrombophilia have healthy pregnancies; however, this condition can contribute to a number of pregnancy complications:
Most of the problems that occur during pregnancy are believed to result from blood clots in placental blood vessels that lead to placental changes and reduced blood flow to the baby.
If you become pregnant and have had any type of blood clot, your doctor will recommend screening blood tests for thrombophilia. Your doctor may also recommend a screening test if:
If you test positive for thrombophilia and your doctor believes your risk of blood clots and pregnancy complications is strong enough, you may be treated with a blood-thinning drug called heparin. This drug is given by injection daily and is safe for your baby because it does not cross the placenta. However, most women with a thrombophilia disorder need only to be monitored closely throughout pregnancy.