What Every Woman Should Know About Blood Clots

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DVT Deep vein thrombosis west florida vein center

If you are like most women you haven’t given any consideration or thought at all to the subject of blood clots. A blood clot can happen at any age to either sex though they mostly occur in men age 50+ and women under age 50 during childbearing years.

Though the sexes share most of the common contributory factors such as diet, activity level, and obesity, women also carry more of a risk thanks to our reproductive systems. Both pregnancy and birth control elevate that chance greatly.


DVT Deep vein thrombosis west florida vein center

During pregnancy, a woman is six times more likely than at any other time in her life to develop life-threatening blood clots in their deep veins of the legs and hips. This can lead to a serious condition known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT can then lead to an even more detrimental condition – pulmonary embolism. An embolism may occur when a blood clot breaks off. It then becomes stuck in the lungs, preventing the healthy flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. In pregnant women, blood clots most often happen in the veins of the legs due to the added pressure and weight of their baby.

Blood clots may also affect the baby while in utero. If a blood clot forms inside of the placenta, it may hinder or stop blood flow as well as oxygen getting to the baby. This can put them at serious risk. Most women who do develop blood clots during pregnancy are able to treat them and go on to deliver a perfectly healthy baby.


Birth control pills work by tricking a woman’s body into thinking she is pregnant already.  Because of this, they can affect the body in the same way as if she was actually carrying a child. The reason behind this is that birth control pills require the presence of the same hormones that are produced in a woman’s body during pregnancy, the same hormones (estrogen and progestin) that are believed to be the major culprits in causing blood clots. These hormones can increase a woman’s chance of developing blood clots by 3 or 4 times.

These two hormones combined during the later stages of pregnancy can be deadly if not properly monitored. Progestin allows the blood vessels to widen and relax, letting the blood pool more easily within the veins. Estrogen works in aiding the formation of blood clots by increasing platelet numbers as well as the overall stickiness of these platelets. This allows clots to form more easily. You can see with a little common logic how the two could make for a sticky situation inside the vein.

Other factors can also increase the DVT risk in pregnant women and in women taking birth control. These include carrying excess weight, smoking cigarettes, being over the age of 35, and having a history of previous blood clots or blood clots outside of pregnancy.

Most women have a completely normal and healthy pregnancy and no side effects while on birth control, it is very helpful to be aware of the risks and to know when to talk to your doctor.


  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Heated skin
  • Worsening leg pain
  • Leg cramping
  • Discoloration of the skin

If you experience these symptoms please seek medical help as soon as possible!

If you would like more information on how blood clot risk may apply to you we would love to review your health history and see you in our office as a patient. Give The West Florida Vein Center a call today at 727-712-3233 or visit online at www.westfloridaveincenter.com to learn more about Dr. Mark Zuzga and the practice.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

No one needs to suffer from untreated varicose vein disease anymore. In addition, with today's favorable insurance coverage, the procedures are even more accessible. If you have a vein problem, you need Dr. Zuzga and West Florida Vein Center!


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