Factor V Leiden Clotting Disorder and Pregnancy

23 04 2011

This is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I am a heterozygous carrier of the gene that causes Factor V Leiden clotting disorder. This means that although I had a previous pregnancy with no complications, I am still considered a high risk patient. I want to start researching this and finding links to articles that will help me and my midwife make informed decisions on my care.

I was really hoping I would have a chance to have a home birth this time around, but because of the fact that I am “high risk” I may have to beg and plead to just be able to give birth in my midwife’s birth center. I have this fear of hospitals and giving birth in hospitals. I know that a hospital birth means having blood drawn, having a hep lock put in, and lots of random people coming in and out of my birth space. Often entering loudly and un-announced. I worry that if I have to give birth in a hospital I will have my baby taken away from me right after the birth, that Mr. Ewe won’t get to be the first person to hold our Bean, that the umbilical cord will be cut prematurely, that people will scream at me to PUSH>>>NOW! I am worried that giving birth in a hospital will lead to a series of interventions that I don’t want and feel are detrimental to my and Bean’s health.

These are real concerns, real fears that I have. I thought when I got pregnant that I would have the birth I wanted, and I wouldn’t have to make hard decisions, other than when to call the midwife to come to the house for the birth. This may all be changing, without getting to have a say in any of it. I don’t have any answers yet.

When I told Christine at Eastside Birth Center about my clotting disorder, she told me that her back-up midwife had recently had a patient with a similar problem, and that they would talk about it and find out what my options are. But I have to wait until my next appointment on May 18th to get more information from them. This is going to be a long wait, but I will do my best to inform myself so that I have something to bring to the table when it is time to have another discussion with my caregivers about this.

I have had DVT once with this condition. Funny enough, that was not when I was diagnosed. I was on Ortho-TriCyclin about 10 years ago when my legs started becoming very painful and tender, and swollen. It got to the point where my shins were covered in bruises and I could barely walk. My then-boyfriend took my to the ER. No one seemed to know what was going on with me. This seemingly random event as linked to “maybe” the estrogen in my BC pills, and was told to stop taking them. I went on some blood thinners for a little while, and the swelling cleared up.

Soon after that I found myself pregnant, and never thought twice that what caused my legs to swell on BC pills may also happen during a pregnancy. I was embarrassed by what had happened, and never mentioned it to anyone. Lucky for me, my pregnancy was uneventful and everything turned out just fine.

Several years later, my grandmother was diagnosed to Factor V, and was told to give a letter to each of her family members so they could be tested too. I was one of the lucky ones, I had it. I also have a heart murmur, which could be a problem someday if I ever get a clot.

I understand all too well why I am considered “high risk” this pregnancy. But it is still scary to be labeled like that, especially when that sort of label doesn’t come with many answers.

Pregnancy, Clotting, and Factor V Leiden: An Overview

Midwifery Today Factor V Handout

Hitting my Stride: Diagnosis–Clotting 

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One response

24 07 2014
Careen

I realize this is an old post, but nothing else is coming up in searches….I have factor v leiden as well, and heard that taking Diatomaceous earth can increase clotting…I think this is a misunderstood concept, as DE is used in tubes by direct contact to activate clotting in the lab. Ingesting DE does not cause it to have direct contact with the blood stream. I am curious how your experience has been consuming DE and its effects on your Factor v leiden. I take about 3/4 tsp daily with no intention to take any more than a tsp eventually. I have just begun this, mainly from joint pain and as a preventative after one of my children had pinworm (the children get 1/2 tsp daily).

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