What is it?
Factor V Leiden is a gene mutation. It can increase your chance of developing an abnormal blood clot.
Normally, blood clots form to stop bleeding from a cut. But, factor V Leiden can cause clots to form when they aren’t needed. Abnormal blood clots can be serious or life-threatening. They can develop in your deep veins or close to your skin. They can also travel to your lungs.
A blood clot may be the first sign that you have factor V Leiden, but many people never develop signs or symptoms. Most women have normal pregnancies, but some women do develop complications.
If you’re pregnant with factor V Leiden, talk to your GP about how to avoid serious complications.
What will my GP do now?
Your GP will:
- Help you learn how to reduce your risk of getting a blood clot
- Refer you for a high-risk pregnancy assessment
- Talk to you about the signs and symptoms of dangerous clots
- Talk to you about family history
- Consider medications – blood-thinning medications can be given after your baby is born or may be given during pregnancy
What will my GP do in the future?
If you’re seeing a specialist or midwife, your GP will keep in touch with your other health care providers and assist with your general pregnancy care. You can continue to see your GP if you have any questions about your pregnancy care or health in general.
What can I do?
Most women with factor V Leiden have normal pregnancies. But it’s important to be aware that you do have a higher risk of blood clots.
You will need to see your pregnancy care provider regularly. Avoid any situations that might increase your risk of a blood clot, such as long car or plane trips, sitting or lying down for long periods of time. If you need to sit for more than two hours, get up and walk around. Stretch your legs and ask your GP about compression stockings.
Also, keep track of your symptoms – even those that might not be related to blood clotting. Talk to your GP or pregnancy care provider about your symptoms and any other concerns you have.