Should i worry about low platelet during pregnancy
Low platelet during pregnancy
You shouldn’t worry if your platelet count is slightly low . It shouldn’t cause you and your baby any problems even though you will be monitored.
Platelets are cells in your blood that help your body to clot when it needs to. The normal number of platelets is between 150 and 400 million per millilitre (ml) of blood. Most pregnant women are in the normal range. A smaller percentage have a slight drop in their platelet count. Your count is below normal if you have between 100 and 150 million platelets per ml of blood.
If your platelet count falls below normal during pregnancy , it is known as gestational thrombocytopenia. It usually occurs in the third trimester and wont affect your baby . Your platelet will return to normal after delivery of your baby.
It is unknown why your platelet level may fall during pregnancy. However expects believe these factors may play a role.
- your body naturally destroys platelets when not used and replaces them with new ones. This process speeds up during pregnancy. As a result, you have fewer but younger and larger platelets in your blood
- your body produces more plasma (liquid part of blood) during pregnancy . This means the platelets are diluted and are fewer in number per miliiliter of blood.
During a blood test, your platelet level will be measured. If it is low, the test will be done again. You will be monitored to make sure your count is not dropping.
If your platelet count is extremely low, it means you are more likely to bleed after delivery or during cesarean section. Your doctor will be very careful when giving you an epidural. The epidural needle will have to be placed carefully to avoid any accidental punctures.
An abnormally low count is likely to be caused by a condition you already have such as lupus( when your immune system mistakenly attack healthy cells). Some medications such as blood thinning heparin can result in low platelet count. If this is the cause , your health care professional will know this can happen and will plan your prenatal visits accordingly.
Occasionally this condition could be a sign of pregnancy complication known as preeclampsia . Preeclampsia causes the following symptoms.
If your platelet level remains at safe levels and you are not having any symptoms, you may not need any treatment. However your doctor will considerer treating you if you are bleeding or you are having a cesarean.This means taking steroids or having an infusion of globulin (IVIG). He may also recommend having transfusion of platelets or plasma to increase the platelet levels in your blood and to stabilise your condition.
LOW PLATELET LEVELS – THROMBOCYTOPENIA DURING PREGNANCY. The Association of Radical Midwives. https://www.midwifery.org.uk/articles/thrombocytopaenia-of-pregnancy-low-platelets/. Accessed August 7th, 2017