Factor Five Leiden


Several studies related to hormone replacement therapy show a increased risk of venous thromboembolism to be two times greater in women who use Hormone Replacement Therapy compared to those who do not use it. An important fact to know about these studies is that most of them excluded women with known thrombophilia. Oral contraceptives are contraindicated with any women with FVL and can not be taken with Warfarin. There is material that states that one of the drawbacks for Warfarin/Coumadin is the potential for birth defects and/or hemorrhage in the offspring of mothers using this drug. Some research also suggests that Coumadin used during pregnancy can cause brain damage in the fetus.

Women with FVL have an higher risk of venous thromboembolism while using birth control. Approximately 20-35% of women who develop a venous thrombosis while on birth control will be found to be heterozygous for FVL. The risk increases more than 100-fold for those that are homozygous. DVTs for women using birth control is 3 in 10,000 for those unaffected by FVL. For women that have FVL the risk of DVTs is about 28.5 in 10,000. This risk will also increase with age. Women who are between 35-40 have a higher risk than those in their late teens.

FVL can be associated with a 7-16 fold increase in thrombotic risk during pregnancy. Although miscarriage and stillbirth can be related to several other factors, they are also related to FVL. Risk can increase for the fetus as well if it has inherited FVL .Women who are homozygous will have an increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. The risk of stillbirth can occur up to the 36th week. Some women may have multiple stillbirths before they are even tested for the factor five mutation. One reason for miscarriages and stillbirths is thought to be excessive and abnormal clotting in the small vessels of the placenta.

This is another risk factor, which is also known as toxemia with pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a combination of symptoms that can develop during pregnancy such as: high blood pressure, sudden weight gain--greater than one pound a day, swelling, changes in muscle reflex and protein in the urine. Other symptoms may include headache, nausea, abdominal pain and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia can progress to a more serious condition that involves the nervous system and can cause seizures.

When this happens the condition is called eclampsia, which can be life threatening both to the mother and the baby. If the symptoms of preeclampsia are severe enough and the baby is large enough, even if it's early, then your doctor or health care provider may advise a immediate delivery. The symptoms of preeclampsia are cured once the baby is born. Although FVL may contribute to some of these risk factors with pregnancy the chance for a uneventful pregnancy with FVL is still high. The important thing to remember is that most carriers of FVL will never develop these serious symptoms. [PART 4] [PART 2] [PART 1]