Lifestyle Changes

Can I have a glass of wine or drink other alcohol on my anticoagulant?

Alcohol in moderation is fine, it is recommended to limit consumption to no more than 2 drinks at a time. (1 drink = 1 beer, or 1 glass of wine, or 1 cocktail, or 1 shot.)  Ask your healthcare provider if alcohol consumption is okay for you.

Can I use a hot tub? Can I get a massage? Can I see a chiropractor?

In general, hot tubbing is fine. You need your doctor’s approval when having a massage or going to the chiropractor when a clot is still present. It is important to be careful with any soft tissue in an area where there is or was a clot.

Can I get a tattoo?

It is not recommended to get tattoos if you are on an anticoagulant, as you could get severe bruising and possible severe infection, but if your physician feels that it is safe to hold your anticoagulant, you may be able to get a tattoo after 3-6 months of treatment.

Can I ride a roller coaster?

Rides without extreme acceleration/deceleration are fine. It would be best to wait until your acute symptoms have subsided.

Will this affect my periods? Will anticoagulants make me bleed more?

Anticoagulants may make you bleed more and can lead to changing menstrual products every 2 hours or less and often subsequent iron deficiency anemia.

I want to start a family. What does this mean for pregnancy and childbirth?

Pregnancy increases risk for developing blood clots. Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage it successfully. Usually, enoxaparin injections are prescribed while pregnant and continued during the post-partum period. In some cases, a patient may be switched to warfarin during the 6-week post-partum time.  Warfarin is safe if breastfeeding. If you have had a hormone related or idiopathic (unprovoked) blood clot you will likely take low molecular weight heparin during your entire pregnancy and 6 weeks post-partum.  You will need to discuss with your provider whether you want to start it prior to becoming pregnant or when you discover you are pregnant. Read more about pregnancy and blood clots.

Do I need to switch birth control? What options do I have?

There are many different options for birth control. Those who have had a blood clot should absolutely avoid estrogen-based birth controls. Non-estrogen-based birth controls include IUD’s (Mirena, Lileta, Kyleena, Skyla), Mini Pill, Implant, Copper IUD, Condoms, Spermicides, Diaphragm, Sponge, Tubal Ligation, or Vasectomy. The only progestin only contraceptive that should be avoided is the Depo-Provera injection. Learn more about birth control and blood clots.

Will this affect my sex life?

It is uncommon that shortness of breath would affect your sexual performance, however the anxiety associated with the blood clotting event may make it harder for you to relax which could affect your sex drive. Females should be aware that occasional bleeding can occur during sexual intercourse if they are on an anticoagulant.

How will my clot affect my home and work life?

Most of the time the physical effects of the clot should not affect your home and work life unless you had a major clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism), you are short of breath, or you cannot accomplish household and work tasks. The more likely factor to impact your home and work life would be the psychological reaction. You should not hesitate to seek out help if you feel that you cannot concentrate or do your work.

Is it OK to travel?

Yes. In an automobile, stop every hour or so and walk for several minutes. On a plane, try to sit where you can stretch your legs (aisle seat, exit aisle, bulkhead seats, business class, etc.). Periodically, get up and walk the aisle(s) for several minutes. It is also a good idea to wear compression stockings when traveling.

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