Tag: varicose veins and dvt

These Three Things Raise Women’s Blood Clot Risk

Women have a higher blood clot risk than men. Especially for one dangerous clotting condition: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). This develops when you form a blood clot in the deep veins of your legs. As it circulates, there’s a risk that the blood clot will break free. Then, it could lodge in your lungs (pulmonary embolism), causing a potentially fatal complication. hormonal birth control blood clot risk

All women have an elevated risk. And should look out for warning signs such as tingling or numbness in your hands. And your risk for DVT may be increased if you take a hormonal birth control pill or IUD. Because some of the hormones in your birth control makes your blood more likely to clot, you may prefer a on-hormonal option if you have other risk factors. These include condoms or a copper IUD.

Birth control that contains estrogen is more likely to make your blood clot. For that reason, newer forms of birth control combine forms of progestin and estradiol, leaving out estrogen to improve the safety profile. If you prefer a hormonal birth control, but are worried about clotting, you may want to discuss options such as Yasmine or Mircette with your healthcare provider.

Pregnancy and Clotting

You may think that stopping birth control to conceive eliminates your clot risk. But pregnant women are in even greater danger if they develop blood clots. That’s because, when pregnant women get clots in the deep veins of their legs, groin or arms, the condition is called Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), not DVT.

Now, the condition’s name is different. But the danger to your lungs is the same. And that’s why VTE during pregnancy and post-partum is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths. (Even worse? The CDC says that 33% of people who develop VTE will experience another clot within 10 years. So prevention is very important.)

What We Know About Blood Clot Risk and VTE Varicose Veins & Pregnancy: What You Need to Do (and Why You Shouldn’t Worry)

Until recently, only a few VTE risk factors had been identified. During pregnancy these included:

  • A previous episode of VTE
  • A relative with a previous VTE episode
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Smoking
  • High BMIs
  • In-vitro fertilization

For post-partum VTEs, risk factors include:

  • Emergency c-sections
  • Still births
  • Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
  • Varicose veins 
  • Post-partum infection

New VTE Risk Factors Identified

Now, thanks to a study in Japan, two new VTE risk factors have been identified: Endometriosis and recurring miscarriages.  To reach these findings, the study authors reviwed data from 103,070 pregnant Japanese women, collected between January 2011 and March 2014. Participants completed questionnaires in their first, second and/or third trimester, and their medical records were then transcribed immediately after delivery and one month post-partum.

First, researchers found that the frequency of VTE in the Japanese population was 7.5 per 10,000 pregnancies during both the pregnancy and post-partum period.

After identifying previous known risk factors, and adjusting for their presence, researchers were able to discover two new predictors for VTE: the presence of endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy loss. Women with endometriosis were 2.7 times more likely to develop VTE; women with multiple miscarriages had a risk factor that was 6.13 times higher.

In the wake of this information, we now know that more research will be necessary to keep people safe. And it should be coming soon. Just recently, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institue announced it will launch clinical trials in 2023 to determine whether certain body scans can detect blood clots right as they form. But, until then, it’s important to understand your risk. And address it with your doctor.

Pregnancy with VTE Risk Factors

Knowing your risk for VTE is important, since pregnant women with one or more predictors may need to take precautionary measures. In fact, VTE is such a dangerous complication, at-risk pregnant women may need to take anti-coagulants (with the supervision of and recommendation from their physicians.) To learn more about managing VTE and other venous conditions, schedule a consultation with our Houston vein specialists.

Sources:  The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis

What’s the Right Way to Put On Compression Stockings?

Last week, we shared a blog post about the great reasons to start wearing compression socks. To recap: they could help protect you from deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Plus, they can slow the progression of vein disease. And today, more than ever, they come in lots of cute styles! So now that you have the “why” when it comes to compression stockings, we’d like to address the “how.” After all, it can sometimes be tricky to work these tightly-fitted compression socks onto your legs. But first, let’s examine 5 early warning signs of deep vein thrombosis.

DVT Warning Signals to Watch For

Wearing compression socks can help prevent DVT. Here are the signs to look for, that can tell you you’re in danger for deep vein thrombosis.

  1. Cramps or throbbing pain in one leg, probably in the thigh or calf.
  2. One leg displays swelling.
  3. The skin around the sore spot on your leg may be warm to the touch.
  4. That skin may also turn red or darken.
  5. Swollen veins that are noticeably hard to the touch.

Got any of these symptoms? We may recommend compression therapy. And, if that’s the case, you’ll need to know the right way to put on compression socks. So we hope this guide can help ease this somewhat complex process.

How to Put on Compression Socks: A Step by Step Guide

First of all, it’s important to remember that compression stockings aren’t like typical pantyhose. So forget the usual

Creating a pocket for your toes is the first step to properly applying compression stockings.

ways you pull on stockings. Before putting on compression stockings, you should take off any jewelry and dry your legs completely. Now you’re ready to begin application.

Step 1: Whatever you do, don’t bunch up the feet of your stockings. This would only concentrate all that pressure in one small area, making it harder to pull your stockings into place. Instead, reach your hand down and through your stocking, and grab hold of the heel. Keep hold of the heel and turn your stocking inside out. This will create a little pocket for your foot!

Step 2: Put your toes in the foot pocket you just created. Pull the stocking up to your heel, then grasp the top layer of fabric, right near the middle of your foot.

Step 3: Keeping hold of the fabric, lift the stocking over your heel and pull upwards until your heel is completely covered.

Step 4: Now, use both hands to grasp the remaining loose fabric. Pull it gently up over your calf. Going slowly, continue sliding the stocking upwards, until it rests over your knee.  Smooth any wrinkles, making sure the stockings are laying properly in place.

Step 5: Repeat on other side, then get dressed and go. You’re ready to start your day with a valuable tool to support your vein health!

Did you know that medical compression socks actually require a prescription to make sure you get the right amount of pressure? Our Houston area vein specialists are here to help you find the right pair to protect your circulation and prevent dangerous clots. So schedule an appointment at one of our Houston area clinics today!

Sources: Sockwell USA, The Mayo Clinic

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