Toronto: A daily injection of blood thinner for pregnant women at risk of developing blood clots in their veins - a condition called thrombophilia - has been found to be ineffective, a new study showed.
For two decades. women have often been prescribed the anticoagulant low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) to prevent pregnancy complications caused by placental blood clots.
This treatment requires women to give themselves daily injections - a painful process that requires women to poke their abdomen with hundreds of needles over the course of their pregnancy.
Now, a randomised clinical trial led by Marc Rodger, a senior scientist at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, has provided conclusive evidence that the LMWH anticoagulant has no positive benefits for the mother or child.
"The LMWH treatments could actually cause pregnant women some minor harm by increasing bleeding, increasing their rates of induced labour and reducing their access to anesthesia during childbirth," Rodger and his team claimed.
Rodger's clinical trial took 12 years to complete and involved 292 women at 36 centres in five countries.
As many as one in 10 pregnant women have a tendency to develop blood clots in their veins.
"These results mean that many women around the world can save themselves a lot of unnecessary pain during pregnancy," Rodger added.
"The findings will benefit many women in many countries who will be spared from hundreds of unnecessary and painful injections. They also underscore the importance of conducting rigorous, well-designed clinical trials," said Duncan Stewart, chief executive officer of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.
The study was published online in the journal The Lancet.