Venous insufficiency in pregnant women can have several consequences: thrombosis, phlebitis and pulmonary embolism.
The risk of thrombosis in pregnant women
A thrombosis is not one of the simple pregnancy symptoms like heavy legs or nausea. “It should be taken seriously as its complications can be serious.” recommendedJessica Dahan Saal, head of the gynecology department at the Pierre Rouques hospital in Paris.
Thrombosis is defined by the Formation of a blood clot in a vein. During pregnancy, the female body secretes many hormones, necessary for the proper development of the baby. To like something blood clotting, which can lead to the formation of these clots. The risk of thrombosis is particularly high at the end of pregnancy and shortly after birth.
Immobility reduces blood flow and increases the risk of thrombosis; the risk is therefore increased in pregnant women who need to remain calm. “For this reason in particular, strict bed rest is no longer recommended even in the case of threatened premature birth‘ the gynecologist recalls.
Phlebitis during pregnancy
Phlebitis occurs when the blood clot that forms blocks a vein. Blood flow is partially or completely blocked. The most common locations are in the lower extremities (calf or thigh).
Superficial or deep vein thrombosis
There are two types of phlebitis: superficial or deep.
One speaks of a superficial vein thrombosis the blood clot that forms is in a vein just under the skin. That can be painful.
One speaks of a venous thrombosis when it is deep the blood clot forms in a vein with a large diameter. It is a medical emergency as the complications can be serious.
during a pulmonary embolism, the blood clot breaks loose and blocks a pulmonary artery. The obstruction can be partial or total. “It is the most feared complication of venous thrombosis; it can lead to the death of the future mother‘ warns Dr.
Symptoms of thrombosis
What are the first signs of thrombosis?
In the case of superficial phlebitis, signs of inflammation can be present on the skin: Redness, heat, pain. “Sometimes there is only one character. If in doubt, contact your doctor as soon as possible.‘, emphasizes the specialist.
When it comes to deep vein thrombosis, it doesn’t show up. The patient may feel sharp and sudden pain, cramps, numbness, moderate fever…or nothing at all. In 50% of cases, venous thrombosis goes almost unnoticed.
What are the signs of a pulmonary embolism?
During a pulmonary embolism, the symptoms are as follows: shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting. In the slightest doubt, an emergency hospital admission is necessary.
treatment of thrombosis
The purpose of the processing is dissolve the clot that has formed and prevent the formation of other clots. The clot can be surgically removed. It can also be destroyed by injecting it with a drug. The doctor may prescribe oral medications (oral anticoagulants) as well as compression stockings avoid any repetition.
Prevention of thrombosis during and after pregnancy
“Wearing compression stockings is recommended for all pregnant women throughout pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after delivery. asks the gynecologist. The degree of compression depends on the Patient risk factors for phlebitis. High socks, stockings or tights can be used.
Risk factors for phlebitis include a history of thrombosis, being over 35 years of age, or being overweight.
A adapted physical activity, like hiking or swimming,is beneficial throughout pregnancy. Walking is an excellent way to encourage venous return and reduce the risk of phlebitis during pregnancy. It is also recommended to stay hydrated and wear loose clothing.
What to do with bed rest
Strict bed rest is no longer recommended. A pregnant woman at risk of preterm labor needs to rest, but also get up (shower, prepare food) several times a day. “I even recommend these patients to go outside 1 to 2 hours a day!‘ the gynecologist adds.