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Thrombophilia

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Updated November 14, 2007

Definition:

An increased tendency to form internal blood clots because of a genetic or immune system abnormality. The clots might occur in veins or arteries, posing a risk to the person's health. A person can have a thrombophilia-related disorder with no outward symptoms. Many doctors test for these disorders as a part of a recurrent miscarriage testing workup.

Thrombophilia is associated with miscarriage and later pregnancy loss, because women with these disorders may form small blood clots that cause problems with the placenta or the umbilical cord. Antiphospholipid Syndrome is a common cause of recurrent miscarriages.

Genetic, or hereditary thrombophilias, are associated with greater risk of stillbirth. The most common of these conditions is called Factor V Leiden.

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