COVID may increase blood clot risk in women who are pregnant or taking oestrogen

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COVID-19 may increase the risk of blot clots in women who are pregnant or taking oestrogen with birth control or hormone replacement therapy, according to a new manuscript.

One of the many complications of COVID-19 is the formation of blood clots in previously healthy people. Oestrogen increases the chance of blood clots during pregnancy and in women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. If infected with COVID-19, these women’s risk of blood clotting could be even higher, and they may need to undergo anticoagulation therapy or to discontinue their oestrogen medicines.

"During this pandemic, we need additional research to determine if women who become infected with the coronavirus during pregnancy should receive anticoagulation therapy or if women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy should discontinue them,” said the study’s corresponding author, Dr Daniel I Spratt, of Maine Medical Centre in Portland, Maine, and Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. “Research that helps us understand how the coronavirus causes blood clots may also provide us with new knowledge regarding how blood clots form in other settings and how to prevent them.”

Researching and understanding the cause of blood clotting in COVID-19, including the intersecting effects of oestrogen therapy or pregnancy, has several hurdles and will require innovative animal and tissue models.

Conversations between clinicians and basic researchers and between endocrinologists and haematologists are necessary to explore potential interactions between SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – and pregnancy or oestrogen therapy that could guide clinical management.

The manuscript’s co-author is Dr Rachel J Buchsbaum, of Tufts Medical Centre and Tufts University School of Medicine.


Endocrine Society material Endocrinology manuscript (pdf)

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