Low Platelet Count During Pregnancy: Gestational Thrombocytopenia Causes, Treatment

Question:

Are there any safe methods available for a pregnant woman to increase her platelet levels? Here’s why I’m asking… with my first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia. At the beginning of my pregnancy, my levels were at 170, but dropped to 104 by the time I gave birth. My daughter is now 18 months old and I am pregnant again with my 2nd child. I am only 9 week pregnant, and my levels are currently at 140. I expect that my platelet count will probably continue to drop as it did last time.

I was not concerned about my count last time, since 104 is still within safe limits. However, since my starting count for this pregnancy is already so low, I’m concerned that my count may drop to a dangerous level. Is there anything I can do to help my platelet count in any way?

Answer:

Gestational thrombocytopenia occurs in 8 % of all pregnancies, and accounts for more than 70 % of cases of thrombocytopenia during pregnancy.

Gestational Thrombocytopenia

Increased platelet activation is suspected to occur at the placental circulation, and a faster consumption of platelets occurs due to the diminished life span of platelets during pregnancy.

Guidelines:

  • Research says there is no pathological significance of gestational thrombocytopenia for the mother or the fetus.
  • There is no danger of fetal hemorrhage or any bleeding complications.
  • The platelet count regularizes within 2 to 12 weeks after delivery. Monitor platelet count periodically.
  • No treatment is necessary for gestational thrombocytopenia.
  • Invasive approaches of fetal monitoring, such as – fetal blood sampling are not suggested.
  • Nonetheless, you can follow a dietary plan that will boost your platelet count significantly: Ensure that your daily diet has plenty of these – beet root, tomatoes, dates, raisins, dried figs, soy, lentils, tofu, black strap molasses, prunes, beet greens, cashews, apricots, and peas. These foods help enhance the platelet count. Also, make sure your diet is absolutely free of refined foods – white flour, white sugar, processed foods – crisps, wafers, cookies, coffee, tea, and aerated beverages. They have a detrimental effect on the platelet level.

Question: My wife is pregnant (30 weeks). In 26th week her platelet count was 165. Last week it was 148 now it is 144. Is there any way to improve the platelet count naturally. If not, any medications available?

Causes of Low Platelet Count

Platelets play a vital role in hemostasis. Hemostasis is a complex process which involves a series of events taking place sequentially to stop bleeding, which may be the result of an external or internal injury. Platelets are responsible for the transformation of blood from a fluid to a solid. This solid clot obstructs and prevents further bleeding.

Physiological the platelets range from 150-400 x 109 per liter, which is also referred to as the platelet count. Depending upon the situation, a low platelet count may result in excessive bleeding, with appearance of tiny red dots (Thrombocytopenic purpura) on the skin of lower legs. Low platelet count may also be accompanied with bleeding from gums, stool or urine. Bleeding due to external injury may be very hard to stop in such situations. On the other hand a high platelet count may result in formation of too many blood clots. The platelets will cause the blood to clot easily. These clots will obstruct the easy flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Obstruction of blood flow in critical areas like the heart and the brain may result in stroke or cardiac arrest.
Decreased platelet count is referred to as ‘thrombocytopenia’, which is common feature during pregnancy. During pregnancy there is an increase in mother’s blood volume by about 50%, which in turn results in the apparent reduction in the number of platelets per milliliter. There is a slight decrease in platelet count in pregnancy but whenever the count falls below 130,000, it is a matter of concern.

Try these Foods to Increase Blood Levels: As described by you, the current status of platelet count is about 144, which I presume implies that it is 144 x 109 per liter. This is a typical example of  ‘Gestational Thrombocytopenia‘, and it ideally does not require any form of treatment.  So stop worrying.

Question: I’m pregnant for 27 weeks and 4 days. Last week, I’d blood test and platelet count was 107. After asked for another blood test, the count was 99. She is going to refer to hematologist and perinatologist. Will this condition affect unborn baby? What is the treatment to increase the platelet count?

Answer:

Platelets are non-nucleated cells produced in the bone marrow and have a life of 10 days after which they disintegrate. Platelets are essential for maintenance and initiation of the haemostatic system. The platelet count in non-pregnant women ranges from 150000 to 400000/mcL. However fall in platelet count (thrombocytopenia) is common and attributed to the following reasons:

  • Acceleration of destruction of platelets.
  • The platelets are younger and larger in size than usual resulting in a fall in their numbers.
  • The blood volume during pregnancy rises by almost 50%. This in turn dilutes the concentration of platelets per microliter.

With your platelet count of 99000/mcL, it is a moderate thrombocytopenia. Your condition is medically termed as ‘œGestational Thrombocytopenia‘ and platelet count will return back to normal within a few days after delivery. It occurs in about 5% of full term pregnancies.

Treatment for Low Platelet Count During Pregnancy

  • No treatment is required at this juncture. Don’t worry. Only if the platelet count falls below 50,000/mcL, management is required.
  • You could try homeopathic remedy for low platelet count – Sepia 30, 4 pills, thrice a day. This medicine will help increase your platelet count and also facilitate smooth delivery.
  • Your low platelet count in no way will affect your child. If however the platelet count falls below critical levels, it might result in excessive blood loss during pregnancy.

 

11 Comments

  1. T R R said:

    Platelet count in blood is 1.40 lakhs, against reference range of between 1.50 and 4.50 lakhs/cu mm (HAEMOGRAM ) and 1.21 lakhs against normal range 1 to 4 lakhs /cu mm.
    What is the minimum platelet count. How much do I need to improve the platelet count naturally.

    February 15, 2010
    Reply
  2. MH said:

    My 19months baby is having a problem of low platelets. according to the doctor it is ITP. His platelet count came to 14000, so he had to undergo platelet transfusion, now he is under medicines please suggest me some home made natural food for my baby to increase platelets I am very much worried about him?

    March 30, 2010
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Platelets are the power packed ingredients present in the blood required to start the clotting mechanism in case of any bleeding emergency.
      Platelets are replaced at the rate of 10% each day; they have a half life of 10 days.
      Thrombocytopenia is reduction of platelet in the blood. It is a common clinical disorder. It becomes alarming only if the platelets reduce to 10000 to 25000/cu/mm.
      Thrombocytopenia may result from defective production, i.e. defect in manufacturing by the body, or increased consumption, or due to destruction of the platelets.
      ITP (immune thrombocytopenic purpura) , acute ITP is mostly seen in children between the age of 2 to 10 years usually after a viral infection and it is self limiting, chronic ITP is seen between the age of 15 to 30 years of age. More present in women, with a relapsing history.
      Garlic, cumin, onions, turmeric, clove, black fungus used in Chinese foods are said to produce platelet dysfunction so avoid it.
      Certain foods rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid boost the platelet production. Green leafy vegetable soup is also helpful to increase the platelet.

      April 5, 2010
      Reply
  3. I said:

    My mother had ITP and she died of Cerebral hemorrhage. Now I am 6 months pregnant. I had bluish/purple patches in upper arms and thighs during almost every month during the period 2002-2007. But Platelet count was normal every time I checked. Now, no patches were observed for the past 2 years. Can I develop gestational thrombocytopenia or will my child get affected by ITP?

    April 14, 2010
    Reply
  4. Amber said:

    My son just turned a year old. The whole program I had a platelet count of 25,000 to 28,000. I am pregnant again and only 4 months but once again my platelet came back to 26,000. Is there any thing I can take or eat to bring my platelet count up to normal. I had to have him natural and was not able to have my tubes tied due to this and i am scared to go through all that again.

    April 14, 2010
    Reply
  5. BD said:

    My husband is suffering from cancer and is taking radiation everyday and chemotherapy once a week. After his blood test today he was told that his platelets are below a thousand. My question is how to increase low platelet count while he is undergoing chemotherapy.

    July 1, 2010
    Reply
  6. N K said:

    I am 25 years old a married woman. I am patient of THROMBOCYTOPENIA since 3 years, present my Platelet Count is 170000, 4 months ago dropped below 25000, now I have taken Steroids continuously. My question is, I want to be pregnant? Kindly suggest me about this serious matter.

    December 9, 2010
    Reply
  7. Lindsey said:

    I had gestational thrombocytopenia with both of my pregnancies. With my last pregnancy, it was not caught until I was 7 months pregnant. The damage had been done. I took steroids too, but my platelets wouldn’t get better. However, my daughter was a stillborn due to a different complication. We are trying again and I am determined to treat my blood disorder with a more natural remedy because the use of steroids on my body and appearance was not good.

    February 5, 2012
    Reply
  8. Sali said:

    I was 7 months pregnant and the damage had been done. We are trying again and I am determined to treat my blood disorder with natural remedies because the use of steroids on my body and appearance was not good.

    June 6, 2012
    Reply

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