Heart & Blood Conditions

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Conditions


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BLOOD CLOTS WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is a blood clot?

Blood clotting, known in medicine as thrombosis, is the formation of a clot, or thrombus, within a blood vessel, resulting in partial or complete blocking of blood flow through the vessel. Pregnancy makes a woman more likely to form a clot compared with her non-pregnant state. Known as hypercoagulability, the clot-forming tendency extends beyond pregnancy to the weeks following delivery of the baby and encourages the formation of clots mostly on the venous side of the circulatory system (vessels, such as veins, that carry blood back toward the heart). Consequently, 75-80 percent of thrombi during pregnancy occur in veins, whereas 20-25 percent occur on the arterial side of circulation (vessels carrying blood from the heart to body tissues), usually due to a disease process on the inner wall of the artery rather than to increased coagulability.


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