Platelet Disorders
Platelet Disorders

Platelet Disorders Pregnancy and Platelet Disorders

Pregnancy can cause your platelet count to be slightly lower than normal. This is called gestational thrombocytopenia. It is common and usually does not cause problems for the mother or baby. However, certain serious conditions, such as HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia, can cause very low platelet counts.

If you already have a platelet disorder, pregnancy may make your condition worse. Your healthcare team will monitor your platelet count and other symptoms during and soon after your pregnancy.   

Possible complications of platelet disorders during pregnancy

A very high platelet count can cause blood clots that can block blood flow to your baby. Very low platelet counts can cause bleeding.

Blood clots or bleeding may cause the following complications:

  • High blood pressure
  • Slow growth of your unborn baby
  • Premature delivery
  • Separation of the placenta from your womb
  • Loss of your pregnancy

Getting routine medical care during your pregnancy can help you avoid or manage these complications. If you have serious complications, you may have to deliver your baby early.

Diagnosing platelet disorders during pregnancy

If you have a platelet disorder during pregnancy, you may need to see a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. You may also have to see a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood disorders.

Your healthcare team will diagnose a platelet disorder based on your medical history, family history, a physical exam, and test results. Test results can also help find out what type of platelet disorder you have. Your healthcare team will make sure that your diagnostic tests are safe for you and your baby.

Treating platelet disorders during pregnancy

In most cases, you will not need any treatment for platelet disorders during pregnancy. If you need treatment, your treatment plan will depend on the type of platelet disorder you have and what is causing your condition. If your platelet disorder is caused only by pregnancy, your platelet count will return to the normal range after your baby is born.

If you have a very high platelet count, you may need medicines to lower it during pregnancy and after you give birth to your baby. If you have a very low platelet count, you may need treatment to raise it before you deliver your baby. This can help prevent serious bleeding during delivery. Also, your baby may have a low platelet count at birth. Most of the time, your baby’s platelet count will be within the normal range a few days after birth. Your healthcare team will make sure that your treatment plan is safe for you and your baby.  

If you have thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, you may need treatment for your condition during your pregnancy even if you do not have any symptoms. Treatment can help prevent symptoms and pregnancy complications.

Preventing future complications

If you have a high platelet count, taking some birth control pills can raise your risk of blood clots. Talk to your provider about a birth control method that is safe for you.

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