What is Thrombophilia?

Thrombophilia is a condition in which individuals are prone to developing blood clots. Normally, when you cut your skin and bleed, your body acts to stop the bleeding through clotting. Once the bleeding stops, the clot dissolves. People with thrombophilia may experience blood clots even without sustaining an injury. This puts them at a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and stroke.

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There are two types of thrombophilia, including:

  • Inherited thrombophilia: Individuals with inherited thrombophilia were born with the condition.
  • Acquired thrombophilia: This occurs when an organ in your body does not make or clear away clotting proteins properly. It often results from prolonged bed rest from surgery or because of a significant illness such as cancer. The most commonly acquired form is antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder that can increase the chances of pregnancy complications and miscarriage.

Many individuals do not know that they have this condition until they develop an abnormal blood clot. Diagnosis often occurs once an individual experiences a blood clot in a deep vein or artery, blood clots in the lungs, a low platelet count, a stroke or mini-stroke, unexplained miscarriages, hemolytic anemia, or a skin condition called livedo reticularis. Treatment will depend on the size and location of the clot. Women with this condition may need to avoid certain types of hormonal birth control that contain estrogen.


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Thrombophilia and Pregnancy

Patients with the form of acquired thrombophilia called antiphospholipid antibody syndrome have an increased risk of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, a small birth weight, miscarriage, and stillbirth. This syndrome occurs when your immune system mistakenly creates antibodies that make your blood more likely to clot. While there is no cure for this syndrome, there are certain medications that can be taken to reduce your risk of developing blood clots.

For patients who have blood clots, treatment may involve blood-thinning medications such as heparin or warfarin. However, those taking blood thinners have a higher chance of experiencing bleeding episodes, so your doctor will need to monitor your dosage with blood tests to ensure that your blood can clot enough to stop potential bleeding.

For those who have this condition and are pregnant, Dr. Tepper will monitor you closely, which may involve undergoing the following tests:

  • Checking for high blood pressure.
  • Tests to evaluate blood clotting levels in the blood.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Fetal heart monitoring.
  • Doppler ultrasound studies.


Whether you are a new or returning patient, Dr. Tepper can assess your concerns and discuss your options to find the most comfortable and convenient care for you. To get started, call our office to set up an appointment.


Contact Us to Learn More

If you have been diagnosed with thrombophilia and are trying to become pregnant or are pregnant, do not hesitate to reach out to our office today. We will be happy to schedule your appointment with Dr. Tepper, during which he will create a treatment plan to help ensure the health of you and your baby. 

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