Is DVT risk greater in women?

March is DVT Awareness Month

belly of pregnant woman

Pregnancy is one of the risk factors for developing DVT

A woman’s risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) varies with hormonal exposure, making pregnancy, use of hormone replacement therapy or birth control products important risk factors. According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, DVT and PE are the most common causes of maternal-related deaths.

Preventing blood clots during pregnancy

What can you do to prevent clots during pregnancy? The American Society of Hematology recommends the following:

  • Be aware of risk factors.
  • Know your family history.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about any history of blood clots or blood clotting disorders in your family.
  • Remain active, with your doctor’s approval.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a blood clot. Visit your doctor immediately if you think you have one.

What you need to know about deep vein thrombosis

March is DVT Awareness Month

barelegs

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a blood clot forms in the large veins of the legs or pelvic region. If the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, a pulmonary embolism (PE) may result.

According to national estimates, approximately 900,000 people are affected by deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism each year. Dr. Thomas Wakefield, head of vascular surgery at the University of Michigan, says identifying the patient’s risk factors is important in preventing DVT. “If there is a risk, you can modify and reduce that risk in many cases.”

Who’s at risk for DVT?

Risk factors for DVT and PE include:

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