Gestational Thrombocytopenia

ITP and Pregnancy, Pregnant, gestational ITP, ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp

Pregnant with a Low Platelet Count

Having mild thrombocytopenia or a low platelet count during pregnancy is no a reason to freak out.  Actually, it is quite a common occurrence towards the end of any regular pregnancy.  In a  prospective study of 15,000 consecutive women admitted for labor and delivery documented low platelet counts in 5% of these women.  Think of it like this… Two or three ladies from every wedding you have been to will be diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia at some point.

Following the delivery of the child, the mother’s platelet count will usually normalise within 2 to 12 weeks.  If the mother’s platelet count does not normalise quickly, then it may be a signifier of something else.

How do you know it is Gestational Thrombocytopenia and not something worse?

The diagnosis of Gestational Thrombocytopenia is considered if there is no history of preceding thrombocytopenia when you were not pregnant.  Gestational Thrombocytopenia patients tend to

  • have no previous history of abnormal bleeding.
  • have only a mild thrombocytopenia count such as 70 or above.
  • develop thrombocytopenia during or after the second trimester.

If these conditions are met, it is predicted that your platelet count would return to normal following delivery and that the newborn infant would have a normal platelet count at birth.  There is not specific diagnostic test that can distinguish the difference between gestational thrombocytopenia and mild ITP, which is why follow ups after the baby is born will help to know the exact cause.  A lot of it will be an exclusion method.  There is alway a chance that you already had ITP but it was not detected until you were testing in relation to your pregnancy.  Brenda is one such patient who discovered she had ITP while pregnant.   It is rare but it does happen.

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