Normal Blood Platelets in Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on January 16, 2012

Platelets which are cells in the blood help the blood to clot when required. The normal quantity of platelets in a milli-liter of blood is around 150 to 400 million and this is the amount most pregnant women have. Blood platelets in pregnancy are normal most often but drop slightly in just about 8% of women. Low blood platelets in pregnancy is termed as a condition called gestational thrombocytopenia. This usually happens during the pregnancy third trimester but has no untoward reaction on the fetus and returns to normal once the child is born.


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The body destroys platelets which are not used and new ones replace them. During pregnancy this procedure becomes speeded up and results in lesser but newer platelets in the blood.

Low blood platelets in pregnancy

The reason for low platelets in pregnancy is because the body produces more of plasma during this period, which means there is more fluid and less platelets in each milliliter of blood.

However, this does not cause any problem to the mother or child. In case the platelet count is less than what it should be the doctor will ask for the blood test to be redone. A low platelet count could result in bleeding during or even after the birth and doctors have to be cautious about this.

Certain health conditions are the cause of low platelet counts and could be there before the pregnancy too. Lupus is one such problem of the immune system; blood thinners like heparin affect the platelet count and certain types of cancer. A low platelet count could also be a sign of pre-eclampsia. Symptoms for his syndrome are headaches, pain above the abdomen, protein in the urine and high blood pressure.

High blood platelets in pregnancy

High blood platelets in pregnancy are rather uncommon as it is usually a low platelet count which is there in pregnant mothers. However, if the count is high it could be because of an essential requirement wherein the bone marrow is producing excess or platelets or an inflammation in the system which is causing it. High platelet levels during pregnancy are dangerous for both the mother and the child and could cause complications.

Treatment for low blood platelets in pregnancy

Doctors usually wait and see if the problem gets resolved on its own before going in for treatment for low blood platelets in pregnancy. This is a common problem during pregnancy and normally does pass off after sometime. If the problem is only because of the pregnancy and there is no other underlying disease then the doctor may suggest a change in the diet. However, it is best to remain under the doctor’s care for such problems.

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