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"How are blood clots dissolved?"

ZocdocAnswersHow are blood clots dissolved?


My doctor will be dissolving a blood clot in my leg and I'd like to know how. I am a 30 year old woman on birth control pills. Thanks.


Birth control pills are well known for providing a slightly higher risk of blood clots, which fortunately end up not being a long term problem for most people when they are treated adequately. The body usually does an excellent job of balancing the need for blood that is thin enough to run through very small blood vessels with the additional need to stop bleeding when these vessels are damaged. This balance is due to many chemicals and compounds that work together in a checks and balance system. Any shift in the balance to one side can lead to either too much bleeding or too much clotting. When you have a clot somewhere that it shouldn't be, blood thinning medications are prescribed. They usually work by reducing the amount of the clotting factors that are activated. This allows the body to break up the clot using the normal clot busting factors that are always present. In other words, anti coagulation drugs usually work not by breaking up the clot themselves, but by shifting the balance so that the body will break up clots more than it will make them. You can ask your doctor about the specific medication that he or she is recommending.

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