What to Know About DVT and Pregnancy
Blood clots are a rare complication, but it’s important to understand that pregnancy does in fact make it up to ten times more likely that you will develop one. The risk of developing a blood clot also increases as your pregnancy progresses, and it is actually highest during the first three weeks after you give birth. The most common type of blood clot during pregnancy is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a blood clot located in a vein far below the surface of your skin. DVT can occur in the deep veins in the back of your leg (up to 80% of DVT occurs in the left leg), calf or pelvis. If you do have a DVT which isn’t treated, the clot can break away and end up becoming lodged in one of your lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE) and is an extremely serious condition that can be life-threatening.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of DVTIt's common to have swelling and discomfort during and after pregnancy, particularly in your legs. There are, however, some warning signs you should be aware of which may indicate the presence of DVT. These symptoms are most likely to occur in one of your legs, even if the clot is actually located in your pelvis. Some of these warning signs include:
- Veins in that appear larger than usual
- Redness or unusual skin color
- Skin that feels warmer in a specific area
- Pain or tenderness, particularly if it worsens when you walk
- Swelling, especially in one leg