Blood Clot in Uterus While Pregnant – Reasons, Risks & Remedies

Blood Clot in the Uterus During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is a phase in which a woman experiences a lot of changes, both emotionally and physically. It is, therefore, very important to take good care of your health and monitor all the changes that occur. Thanks to medical advancement, it has today become easy to detect minute variations in the womb and about the health of the baby and the mother. One of the common occurrences pregnancy ultrasounds come across is a blood clot in the uterus. A blood clot in the uterus during pregnancy is usually not a major cause for concern, but many pregnant women start worrying about this excessively. So, whether it is something to worry about or is just one of the hiccups on the way to a successful pregnancy, we learn all about it in this post.

What Is a Blood Clot in the Uterus?

Whenever the body experiences an injury, like a cut or a wound, it is accompanied by bleeding, which subsequently leads to blood clots. Similarly, when the placenta separates or detaches from the uterine wall, it leads to bleeding and blood clotting – just how your body responds to any wound. The placenta is the key organ that maintains the transport of nutrients and oxygen between the mother and the baby. Any damage to it is a serious problem and must be addressed immediately. These blood clots can occur during any time of the pregnancy – even during delivery.

What Are the Types of Blood Clots in the Uterus?

Blood clots or haematomas are classified according to the location of their origin. With respect to the placenta, there are two types of haematomas: subchorionic haematomas and retroplacental hematomas.

Blood clots that originate between the placenta and uterine wall are called subchorionic hematomas, and the ones that occur behind the placenta are known as retroplacental haematomas. Another type of blood clot that occurs due to the breaking down of blood vessels near the umbilical cord is called an amniotic haematoma and is usually found in front of the placenta. A subchorionic haematoma is one such blood clot in the uterus during pregnancy’s first trimester. which can be diagnosed by the doctor using an ultrasound.

Causes of Blood Clots in the Uterus During Pregnancy

A blood clot in the uterus while pregnant occurs when a part of the placenta separates from the uterine wall during the course of pregnancy. The reasons for the separation are still being investigated by doctors but with little success. However, doctors have been able to identify some risk factors.

  • Women who have had an abdominal injury due to an automobile accident or any other sort of mishap are at risk.
  • Mothers with high blood pressure are also at risk, as it can lead to severe bleeding.

Symptoms of Blood Clots in the Uterus During Pregnancy

If you come across a blood clot in the uterus while pregnant, you may notice slight vaginal bleeding or spotting, which is quite common during early pregnancy. In the case of the uterine blood clot, the possibility of bleeding in the uterus is also there (this is not as bad as it sounds.)

Do Uterine Blood Clots Harm Baby?

The placenta grows in the uterus and plays a vital role in supplying food and oxygen to the baby through the umbilical cord. A blood clot in the placenta situated inside the uterus may stop blood and food supplies to the baby and threaten the baby’s health. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can also cause your baby to grow poorly in the womb.

Complications

Most times, uterine clots get re-absorbed into the uterus, or they remain in the body till delivery. As long as your ultrasounds show that the pregnancy is progressing just fine, there is nothing to worry about.

Complications caused by blood clots during pregnancy can range from a heart attack to a miscarriage. Hence, it is very important to report any excessive vaginal bleeding that occurs during pregnancy. However, it has been seen that there are very few chances of a miscarriage to occur due to a subchorionic haematoma, which is the most common type. Other complications that have been reported include:

Induced hypertension in pregnant woman

Treatment

Most of these blood clots do not require any sort of treatment and are self-resolving. The doctor will suggest rest for the mother as a remedy. Also, monitoring the clot over a few weeks to assess the size and any further complications is advised. Sometimes, the clot might only get detected during delivery. In these cases, the mother needs to follow up with ultrasounds to keep a check on the healing of the clot.

FAQs

1. How To Prevent Uterine Blood Clots During Pregnancy?

The occurrence of uterine blood clots can be prevented or reduced by following certain practices in daily life. Some of the easy-to-do are listed below:

  1. Ensure regular exercise as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Regular exercise promotes the smooth flow of blood circulation. 
  2. If you are currently smoking, stop it immediately and follow a healthy routine.
  3. Eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  4. If you sit for a prolonged period, try to move around or do light exercises like pelvic exercises or exercising your legs every 1-2 hours.

2. Are Blood Clots in the Uterus Common in Pregnancy?

Blood clots in the uterus during pregnancy can occur, but they are not considered common. The medical term for a blood clot in the uterus is a uterine thrombus. Uterine thrombi can form due to various factors, such as underlying medical conditions, but they are relatively rare during pregnancy. When they do occur, they can lead to complications, such as miscarriage, preterm birth, or placental problems.

If you are pregnant and concerned about the possibility of uterine thrombi or any other medical issues, it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider. They can assess your specific situation and provide guidance and appropriate care to ensure the health and safety of both you and your baby. Please consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and information about your pregnancy.

3. How Long Does it Take to Recover From Uterine Blood Clots During Pregnancy?

Recovery time can be influenced by factors such as the size of the hematoma, the gestational age at which it is detected, and the overall health of the pregnancy. Sometimes, small hematomas may resolve on their own without causing significant issues, and the recovery may be relatively quick. However, larger hematomas or those associated with other complications may require more time for recovery, and medical interventions or bed rest may be recommended.

With passing time, the blood clot may get absorbed into the uterus, or it may just stay there without doing any harm until your baby is born. It is best to get a medical check-up done and get this diagnosed in an ultrasound.

Excessive vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is an abnormal phenomenon and must be reported to the doctor. It is important to remember that vaginal bleeding can also be caused by factors such as sex or hormonal changes and needn’t necessarily be a cause for concern. An ultrasound can diagnose the cause of bleeding and the location and size of the blood clot, if there is one. Tracking any bleeding or other abnormal changes during the pregnancy and keeping the doctor informed is the best way to avoid any risks to the mother and the baby.

References/Resources:

1. Blood clots and pregnancy; March of Dimes; https://www.marchofdimes.org/find-support/topics/pregnancy/blood-clots-and-pregnancy

2. Subchorionic Hematoma; Cleveland Clinic; https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/23511-subchorionic-hematoma

3. Bleeding in Early Pregnancy: What Does It Mean?; American Family Physician; https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2009/0601/p993.html; 2009

4. Blood Clots in Placenta During Pregnancy; Birth Injury Help Center; https://www.birthinjuryhelpcenter.org/blood-clots-pregnancy.html

5. Blood Clots During Pregnancy; American Pregnancy Association; https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-complications/blood-clots-during-pregnancy/

6. Blood Clot Prevention Checklist for Pregnant Women; CDC; https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/materials/pregnancy-blood-clot-prevention-checklist.html

Also Read:

MTHFR when Pregnant
Heparin while Pregnant
Blood Clots during Pregnancy
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in Pregnancy

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