Venous thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism

When a blood clot which has formed in a vein, breaks loose and travels in the blood, this is called a venous thromboembolism (VTE).

An embolism is a condition where the blood flow in an artery is blocked by a foreign body, such as a blood clot or an air bubble.

To function properly, the body’s tissues and organs need oxygen, which is transported around the body in the bloodstream. If the blood supply to a major organ - such as the brain, heart or lungs - is blocked, the organ will lose some or all of its function.

The two conditions that form VTE are:​

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis.​
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE) - occurs when a clot (usually from the leg veins) breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs.​

If you speak to your healthcare professional about your menopause and menopausal symptoms and are considering HRT, they may ask you questions relating to VTE. For example, if you have a strong family history of blood clots or if there’s another reason why you might be at high risk of blood clots. Your healthcare professional asks you this question to gauge whether or not you would be suitable for HRT, as your risk of VTE affects whether or not you can use HRT.​

If you are concerned about VTE (blood clot), seek advice from your healthcare professional.​

Go back to Know Your Body

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Job Code: NON-2022-0120
Date of preparation: February 2022

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