Choices connected to family planning, pregnancy, and the treatment of menopause symptoms must be carefully weighed to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots.

Watch this short video to learn about women and blood clots.

A woman’s risk for blood clots is further increased if she previously experienced a blood clot, has a family history of blood clots, or has been diagnosed with a genetic or acquired clotting disorder.

These additional factors should be taken into account when women make decisions about:

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Why are Blood Clots Dangerous?

Dangerous blood clots often form in the deep veins of a person’s arm or leg.  This type of blood clot is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. If a DVT is left untreated, it can break off or travel to the lungs. A blood clot that travels to the lung is called a pulmonary embolism or PE and can be life-threatening.

Up to 900,000 are affected by blood clots each year.
Annually, about 100,000 people die due to blood clots.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Symptoms of a blood clot in your leg or arm might include:

Swelling, pain, or tenderness not caused by injury

Skin that is warm to the touch

Redness or discoloration

Symptoms of a blood clot in your lung might include:

Difficulty breathing

Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath

Coughing up blood

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

What’s Your Risk?

About half of all people who experience a DVT do not experience symptoms, so the most important thing a woman can do to protect herself from a life-threatening blood clot is to learn if she is at risk.

Understanding your risk and the different choices you can make to help offset this risk can protect you from the potentially life-threatening consequences of blood clots.

The Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation

The Legacy of a Young Woman’s Life

With endless possibilities for a very bright future, 23-year-old Alexandra Rowan, a University of Pittsburgh graduate with a double major in writing and communications, had what many young women just starting a new life dream about: A blossoming new career in a bustling and hip city, a loving family, a devoted boyfriend, a growing circle of friends, and an independent spirit that compelled her to travel and explore the wonders of the world all around her.

Sadly, however, Alexandra’s life ended suddenly, when she collapsed due to a massive pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, that had formed in her lung. Without warning, the life of this beautiful young woman had ended, without any clear signal or advance warning that something was wrong.

To honor Alexandra’s memory, and to help raise awareness about life-threatening blood clots, her family established the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation.

The Rowan Foundation has provided funding to the National Blood Clot Alliance to help educate women about blood clot risk factors that may be specific to them. This funding has allowed the National Blood Clot Alliance to develop this website, dedicated to the memory of Alexandra Rowan, and focused on the information that women need to know about the potential blood clotting risks they face throughout their lifetime. Further, the Rowan Foundation is providing funding to the National Blood Clot Alliance to help stimulate additional research into the connection between birth control pills that contain estrogen and massive pulmonary embolism.

The Rowan Foundation also has established an important scholarship program at the University of Pittsburgh, Alexandra’s alma mater, supporting the endeavors of young women like Alexandra hoping to make a future in the field of writing and communications. Read more about this University of Pittsburgh scholarship program here.

You can learn more about Alexandra’s life and the work of the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation here.

For More Information About Blood Clots, Visit:

The National Blood Clot Alliance

The information and materials on this site are provided for general information purposes only. You should not rely on the information provided as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care, or treatment. This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any individual. If you believe you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Get all the latest news from the National Blood Clot Alliance delivered to your inbox each month by subscribing to our e-newsletter. Stay up to date with special features that will keep you informed about our organization’s activities, including patient stories, news about emerging science and medical advances, as well as information shared from a broad spectrum of volunteers, athletes, advocacy partners, and supporters who contribute to the efforts of NBCA.

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The Rowan Foundation has provided funding to the National Blood Clot Alliance to help educate women about blood clot risk factors that may be specific to them. This funding has allowed the National Blood Clot Alliance to develop this website, dedicated to the memory of Alexandra Rowan, and focused on the information that women need to know about the potential blood clotting risks they face throughout their lifetime.

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