Normal Platelets in Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on January 13, 2012

Blood platelets or thrombocytes are small irregularly shaped cells found in the blood plasma. These cells contain certain enzymes that facilitate the process of hemostasis. Hemostasis is a process that helps clot blood when any of the blood vessels rupture. These cells are produced continuously in the bone marrow and are circulated throughout the body. The life span of these cells ranges from eight to ten days. Platelets help fight infections and help clot blood. Certain conditions may impact the blood platelet count leading to low or abnormal blood platelet count.


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The impact is a cause for worry because; low platelet count may cause excessive bleeding while high platelet counts can cause blood clots that obstruct blood vessels leading to serious medical disorders.

Low platelets in pregnancy is common but women may have a low count even before pregnancy. Pregnancy brings about different changes in the body.

Low platelet count in pregnant women is due to increased volume of blood plasma during pregnancy. Increase in blood plasma results in low platelet count per milliliter of blood. Also, the life span of platelets is reduced during pregnancy. Some other conditions that may cause low or abnormal platelet count during pregnancy are:

  • Inability of the bone marrow to produce average platelets during pregnancy
  • Enlarged spleen may cause abnormal platelet count during pregnancy
  • Autoimmune diseases such as thrombocytopenic purpura

Autoimmune disorders such as HIV, lymphomas or leukemias can attack the platelets causing a low platelet count. The normal range of platelets in non pregnant women is 150,000-400,000/ μ L. Pregnant women with a platelet count less than 100,000/μ L must consider further medical assessment. Certain conditions that may be checked to study the cause of low platelet count during pregnancy are:

  • Family history of bleeding
  • Any bleeding problems
  • Obstetrical history
  • Transfusion history
  • Substance or alcohol abuse

A low blood count does not necessarily imply any impact to the growth or development of your baby. Certain symptoms associated with low platelet count include: abnormal bleeding, getting bruised easily and slow blood clotting. Certain serious symptoms are blood blisters on the insides of the cheeks or blood in urine or stool. A low platelet count during pregnancy or average platelet count during pregnancy can be managed with the help of a good diet. Maintain a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables and lots of fluid.

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