According to the researchers, including those from the Tufts University School of Medicine in the US, COVID-19 may increase the risk of blot clots in pregnant women.
The risk is also higher in those women who are taking estrogen with birth control or hormone replacement therapy, noted the research. The research has been published in the journal Endocrinology.
One of the many complications of COVID-19 is the formation of blood clots in previously healthy people. Female hormone estrogen also increases the chance of blood clots during pregnancy, and in women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, say researchers.
If infected with COVID-19, the risk of blood clotting could be even higher, and these women may need to undergo anticoagulation therapy, or discontinue their estrogen medicines, says the research.
The scientists believe further research is needed to understand the effects of the novel coronavirus on coagulation, answering if the virus aggravates the risk of blood clots and strokes associated with oral contraceptive pills, other estrogen therapies, and pregnancy-associated risks.
“During this pandemic, we need additional research to determine if women who become infected with the coronavirus during pregnancy should receive anticoagulation therapy, or if women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy should discontinue them,” said Daniel Spratt, the study’s corresponding author from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, US.
“Research that helps us understand how the coronavirus causes blood clots may also provide us with new knowledge regarding how blood clots form in other settings and how to prevent them,” Spratt said.
However, the scientists said understanding the cause of blood clotting in COVID-19, including the intersecting effects of estrogen therapy or pregnancy, has several hurdles and will require innovative animal and tissue models.