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Capital & Coast DHB Women's Health Obstetrics & Maternity Service

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Venous Thrombosis in Pregnancy

Thrombosis is a blood clot in a blood vessel (a vein or an artery). This information is about a thrombosis that occurs in a vein – the blood vessels that take blood towards the heart and lungs.
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein of the leg, calf or pelvis. If the clot breaks off and moves to the lung, it is called a pulmonary embolus.

What are the symptoms of a DVT during pregnancy?
The symptoms of a DVT usually occur in only one leg and may include:

  • a red and hot swollen leg
  • swelling in your entire leg or just part of it
  • pain and/or tenderness – you may only experience this when standing or walking or it may just feel heavy. 

Seek advice immediately from your doctor or midwife, if you notice one or more of these symptoms.
During pregnancy, swelling and discomfort in both legs is common and does not always mean there is a problem. Always ask your doctor or midwife if you are worried.

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This page was last updated at 4:01PM on February 5, 2020.