Stroke Stroke During Pregnancy

The chance of having a stroke is higher when you are pregnant. Stroke occurs roughly 30 times out of every 100,000 pregnancies. This is about three times higher than the risk for other adults of the same age.

Risk factors

  • People who develop diabetes during pregnancy have a higher risk of stroke.
  • Stroke risk is highest in the last month before delivery and in the first 6 weeks after giving birth.


Talk with your healthcare provider about how to lower your risk of stroke during pregnancy. They will tell you when to stop taking medicines or when to start any new treatments. Your provider may recommend some of the following treatment changes when you are pregnant.


  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), medicines that lower the chance of stroke, should be stopped, because they increase the chance of injury to the fetus’s kidneys.
  • Change from stronger drugs (called antiplatelets) that are designed to prevent blood clots to low-dose aspirin. Low-dose aspirin can also be used while breastfeeding.
  • Do not use the medicine warfarin, because it could cause the fetus (unborn baby) to develop abnormally.
  • Stop using statins, which are medicines used to control cholesterol, for a short time until delivery.


  • Endovascular thrombectomy is a procedure that uses a long, flexible tube called a catheter to remove a blood clot. This may be less risky for the fetus than breaking up the clot using medicines injected into the veins of the mother.
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