Blood clots during first trimester: warning signs to never ignore
Women are more likely to develop a blood clot or thrombosis in a pelvic or leg vein during pregnancy and the postnatal period. This is due to increased levels of anticoagulant factors that protect women from uncontrolled uterine bleeding during pregnancy and after the delivery.
Venous thromboembolism occurs in less than 1 per 1,000 births, but there are several important risk factors that increase the likelihood of VTE in pregnancy. These include age over 35 years, immobility, smoking, obesity, operative delivery, severe varicose veins, preeclmapsia, dehydration, and infection.
The signs are pain and swelling in the calf or thigh muscles, with localized redness and tenderness of the leg-inability to put your heel to the ground when walking is diagnostic.
The danger is that part of the blood clot may break off and be swept off into the lungs where it blocks one of the major blood vessels. This is called pulmonary embolism. The symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood, faintness, collapse. You should go to ER immediately, because two-thirds of deaths from PE occur within two to four hours.