Thrombophilia and Pregnancy: Our Life-Threatening Inheritance

Thrombosis is a severe disease, which can have life-threatening complications. One of the triggering factors is thrombophilia, a predisposition to thrombosis resulting from a blood clotting disorder, which can pose an increased risk to both the mother and the baby during pregnancy. We reviewed important facts related to thrombophilia with the help of Dr. Klára Gadó, a hematologist at Duna Medical Center.
Thrombophilia and Pregnancy: Our Life-Threatening Inheritance

Dangerous inheritance

Both genetic and acquired factors can contribute to the development of thrombophilia, or a predisposition to thrombosis. Every tenth Hungarian inherits an increased risk for thrombosis, i.e., abnormal formation of blood clots. There are milder and more severe genetic variations, and if these are accompanied by other diseases or an improper lifestyle, trouble can easily occur.

The ominous 1/3 rule

According to the Hungarian Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the so-called 1/3 rule applies to the survival of patients with untreated thrombosis who have not undergone prevention. This ominous rule is as follows: one-third of them will die, thrombosis will recur within 10 years in another third, while the remaining will suffer from severe disease caused by late complications.

The tragedy can be prevented

The presence of inherited factors necessitates that those with a family history of thrombosis pay special attention to themselves. If the affected family member is under 60 years of age, a direct relative, or if they have personally experienced a thromboembolic event at a young age, then examination is definitely warranted.

Pregnant mothers' fear

Pregnancy and the postpartum period come with hormonal changes that, even in normal cases, quadruple the risk of developing thrombosis. In the case of thrombophilia, this risk is further increased, putting both the mother and baby's lives in danger. The mother is significantly more likely to develop pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis. If a blood clot forms in the veins feeding the placenta, it can also endanger the baby's life. The blood clotting disorder can cause intrauterine fetal death or atrophy, increase the risk of recurrent miscarriage and pregnancy toxemia. Moreover, thrombophilia can sometimes be the cause behind unsuccessful in vitro fertilization treatments. An increased tendency to thrombosis can also underlie recurrent miscarriages, and recognizing and treating this can contribute to a successful pregnancy.

Necessary precautions

There are several ways to prevent thrombosis that every expectant mother should follow. Regular exercise, abundant fluid intake, and a healthy lifestyle are all examples. However, in some cases, more serious treatment may be needed to protect the fetus and the mother. In severe cases, preventive injection treatment may be necessary. Care must be taken during childbirth and anticoagulant treatment may be needed during the postpartum period. Specialist consultation and a detailed assessment of the patient's condition are essential to determine personalized treatment.