The reasons why intended parents turn to surrogacy and egg donation are various. The majority of us are already well familiar with the most common ones : intended mother’s age or her low ovarian reserve. The common reasons also include health and genetic conditions that either interfere with ovulation and healthy cycle or have a potential to be risky and even transmitted to the baby.
One of the less known issues why even very young female patients are advised to turn to surrogacy and use an egg donor is a Factor V Leiden — a blood clotting disorder and a prothrombin gene mutation. The disorder can increase the chances of recurrent miscarriages and pregnancy complications.
What is Factor V?
Factor V or factor five is a protein and is a part of the coagulation system. Coagulation is just another word for clotting and is the process when blood changes its state from being liquid to forming the blood clot. Coagulation system, accordingly, consists of proteins, cells and processes that are essential to mediate blood clotting. This is where Factor V belongs and has a function to help blood in clotting. The system will get triggered once there is a damage done to the blood vessel. A blood clot, also called thrombus, will form when there is a damage in artery or vein. A simple example is when we get a small cut in the kitchen. This is when the coagulation system will come into the action.
Factor V Leiden
Factor five Leiden is a mutation and is a variant of factor V. Let’s recall that factor five helps blood to clot. Normally, it will be bound with another protein which has an opposite (anticoagulant) function. Their combination occurs as long as the anticoagulant protein needs to neutralize the work done by the factor V and prevent it from creating excess clots. During the Factor V Leiden, these 2 proteins do not get matched and therefore cause hypercoagulability — an increased production of blood clots.
The disorder is potentially dangerous as the patients are prone to forming abnormal and harmful blood clots.The condition is hereditary and has no cure. Moreover, accurate consultations with the doctor have to be planned on regular basis. This way, it will be possible to avoid thrombosis, especially during the periods when they are the most risky (surgery for example).
Factor V Leiden is most common among Europeans.
Factor V Leiden and pregnancy
95% of patients with factor V Leiden will be great with their clotting disorder and will never develop a clot in their lives. However, the mutation is still connected to a number of risk factors, clotting complications and is potentially dangerous.
Factor V Leiden is linked to the risk of miscarriages and pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and placental abruption. Sometimes pregnancy and the delivery will be unproblematic, however, sometimes can be accompanied by stillbirths or miscarriages. There is also an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis.
In most of the cases, even if the patients are under the age of 30, they will be advised to consider applying for an IVF treatment. Surrogacy and egg donation will usually be the safest way for the patients with Factor V Leiden to become parents.