The development of a venous thromboembolism (VTE) or blood clot can be very serious but it is thankfully an uncommon event. If a clot does occur the most common location is the deep veins of the legs (a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT)).
Once a clot has formed a portion of the clot can break off and travel to other parts of the circulation. If a clot travels to the blood vessels in the lungs it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).
The overall risk of this occurring after the menopause is 2 in 1000 but this risk is influenced by a number of different risk factors:
- are over 60 years old
- are overweight or obese
- are a smoker
- have had a blood clot before
- are having hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- are dehydrated
- have cancer or are having cancer treatment
- have a condition that causes your blood to clot more easily than normal, such as antiphospholipid syndrome
- have reduced mobility (including prolonged inactivity, long trips by plane or car)
- have a family history of venous thromboembolism
- have a chronic inflammatory disease