World Hemophilia Day 2023: Is getting pregnant risky for women with hemophilia?

Women with hemophilia might wonder if getting pregnant can be risky. On World Hemophilia Day, which falls on April 17, let's find out if if any pregnancy risks are involved for women with the blood disorder.
Blood clot during pregnancy
World Hemophilia Day falls on April 17 this year. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 17 Apr 2023, 08:59 am IST
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A small cut or bruise doesn’t mean much to most people. Ask people with hemophilia, and they’ll tell you it’s not a small thing for them. Minor injuries doesn’t mean that you immediately need medical attention. But yes, if blood will clot less and you bleed a lot, it can be worrisome. Considering this in mind, you might think that pregnancy and hemophilia don’t go hand-in-hand. After all, there will be blood loss while delivering and there might be pregnancy risks. On the occasion of World Hemophilia Day, which falls on April 17, an expert shares if women with hemophilia can get pregnant or not.

According to Indian Journal of Medical Research, hemophilia is an inherited single gene disorder, which is quite rare. There have been incidence of just one with hemophilia per 10,000 births. It’s rare but still is a cause of worry for some. Health Shots connected with Dr Seema Sharma, Head Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Daffodils by Artemis, Jaipur to know if women with hemophilia can get pregnant.

hemophilia and pregnancy
Hemophilia should not stop you from becoming pregnant. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is hemophilia?

Hemophilia is a blood disorder that causes defect in blood. It’s because of this that blood doesn’t clot much. So, there is an increased risk of bleeding or bruising without or with minor injuries, says Dr Sharma. In acquired hemophilia, there is formation of antibodies against own proteins called as auto-antibodies. They begin to attack a specific clotting factor. Clotting factors are basically proteins in blood that work with platelets to form blood clots which then help to control bleeding.

The expert shares that low clotting factor levels increase bleeding risk. Hemophilia usually occurs because the body doesn’t make enough protein to help blood to form clots. A woman with hemophilia may not have enough clotting factors, so they may have really heavy menstrual periods apart from getting bruised easily.

Hemophilia and pregnancy

The good news is that hemophilia can’t stop you from getting pregnant. But before getting pregnant, you need to have information about:

• The chances of your child having hemophilia (women with hemophilia have a 50 percent chance of passing the disorder to their children).
• How the disorder is treated and is there care available at a local level.
• How pregnancy, labour and delivery should be managed to reduce risks to you and the child.
• The options that are available for conception as well as prenatal diagnosis.

hemophilia and pregnancy
Find out if there can be pregnancy complications. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Pregnancy complications for women with hemophilia

Women with bleeding disorders are not generally believed to be at increased risk of severe bleeding unless they have severe factor XIII deficiency.  In that case, there might be chances of excessive bleeding during pregnancy, miscarriages, preterm delivery, postpartum haemorrhages and baby affected with the same disorder and having bleeding in brain or other form of haemorrhage.

Tips to ensure smooth pregnancy

All you need is a good management that will help you to deliver a healthy baby, says the expert. However, it is important to plan and prepare for the safe journey during pregnancy. Here’s what to do:

• While you are planning a pregnancy, make sure to discuss this with a hemophilia specialist.
• After the pregnancy gets confirmed, contact the expert doctor who can give helpful advice on obstetric services with experience of hemophilia that are available locally.
• You can ask the hemophilia and obstetrics teams to consult with each other about your case. This way they can plan for a smooth and safe pregnancy and delivery and care for the baby.
• Before having any invasive procedures like chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, check with the hematologist.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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