Posts Tagged ‘Factor V Leiden’

Thrombophilias and pregnancy

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The thrombophilias are a group of conditions that increase a person’s chances of developing blood clots. People with a thrombophilia tend to form blood clots too easily because their bodies make either too much of certain proteins (called blood clotting factors) or too little of anti-clotting proteins that limit clot formation.

Thrombophilias may pose special risks in pregnancy. Clots are more likely to develop when a person with a thrombophilia has certain risk factors, including being pregnant or in the postpartum period (up to 6 weeks after delivery)

Most women with a tendency to develop blood clots have healthy pregnancies. However, pregnant women with a thrombophilia may be more likely than other pregnant women to develop deep vein clots and certain other pregnancy complications. Even pregnant women without a thrombophilia may be more likely than non-pregnant women to develop deep vein clots and emboli. This is due to normal pregnancy-related changes in blood clotting that limit blood loss during labor and delivery. However, studies suggest that up to 50% of pregnant women who develop a pulmonary embolus (a clot in the lung) or other venous thromboembolism (a clot that breaks off and travels to a vital organ) have an underlying thrombophilia. Pulmonary embolus is one of the leading causes of maternal death in the United States.

Factor V Leiden and prothrombin mutations are the most common inherited thrombophilias and occur in about 5% to 3% of cases, respectively. Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is the most common acquired thrombophilia. APS occurs in up to 5% of pregnant women. Aside from possible pulmonary embolus, APS also may contribute to repeat miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia and poor fetal growth.

All pregnant women who have had a blood clot should be offered testing. Your provider also may recommend testing if you have a family history of VTE before age 50. Women who have had three or more miscarriages (before or after 10 weeks of pregnancy) or one pregnancy loss after 10 weeks of pregnancy may be offered testing for APS.

Some women may not need treatment, however women with an inherited thrombophilia who have a history of blood clots are usually treated with an anticoagulant during pregnancy and the postpartum period. It is important for any woman with a clotting disorder to discuss with her health care provider what treatment, if any, is appropriate for her specific case. A family health history of blood clots can make a significant impact on the treatment decision – another good reason to know your family health history.

My path to motherhood

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

devanOur guest post today is from Devan McGuiness, founder of Unspoken Grief, a community of support for those affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss.

I knew from a early age that I wanted to be a mother. In my kindergarten yearbook we were asked to share what we wanted to be when we grew up and I wrote “A Mom” – I never knew that my path to motherhood would be as painful as it was.

My journey to motherhood began in 2003 and my family was completed in 2009 after the birth of my 3rd child. I am a proud mother to three healthy children and a survivor of 10 miscarriages.

Before my first child was born I had three consecutive miscarriages each under 8 weeks and at that time began testing to see if there was a ‘fixable cause’. I had been tracking my cycles using basal body temperatures and noticed my luteal phase was only 8 days long. I was put on B vitamins to lengthen my luteal phase and was diagnosed with a progesterone deficiency.

When pregnant again I was placed on progesterone supplements for the first 5 months of pregnancy and gave birth 4 months later to my first full term healthy child. When we decided to expand our family again we were hoping everything would be more simple since we had a diagnosis and a plan. Despite our best efforts we had another two miscarriages (6-8weeks gestation) before the birth of our second full term, healthy daughter.

After some time my husband and I decided we would like to add one more child to the family. We now had two healthy children and believed we had all the information we needed for a healthy full term pregnancy. We continued to have miscarriages and knew that there must be more going on. It wasn’t until our 10th loss (14 weeks gestation) that we discovered the final piece when I was diagnosed with Factor V Leiden a blood clotting disorder that caused clots to form in the placenta causing miscarriage.

I was placed on daily aspirin therapy while we tried to conceive and watched my basal body temperatures for signs of pregnancy. When pregnant again I was placed on Fragmin – a daily blood thinner injection to reduce risks of clots forming for the duration of pregnancy. At 38 weeks I was induced and gave birth to my third healthy child.

As a survivor of 10 miscarriages I noticed a large gap in care and little understanding in the medical community and society on the impact and grief left from miscarriage. In response to the lack of support and because perinatal loss is still a very taboo subject, I founded a space which addresses the desire to connect and speak.

Unspoken Grief offers support to those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal loss through the encouragement of sharing our stories and our voices. Our hope is to allow healing through sharing our stories and connecting to those who can relate. To break the silence surrounding perinatal loss and grief and educate society on the lasting effects it can have.

You can join us for a live chat about pregnancy after multiple miscarriages on May 18th at 2 PM EST. You’ll find us, and Devan, on Twitter at #pregnancychat.