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Avoid Problems and Future Clots

When you're in the hospital, you may take low-dose anticoagulants, or blood thinner medicines. Machines or devices can also help your blood circulate.

Move as soon as possible. Several studies showed that patients who began walking after using blood thinners and compression stockings were no more likely to get a pulmonary embolism than patients who stayed in bed. Ask your doctor when it's OK for you to be out of bed and what kinds of exercise you should do.

At work or while traveling, get up and move around every hour or two.

Keep a healthy weight as well. Being overweight or obese is related to higher rates of DVT and PE.

Also, "someone with a family history of DVT should think triple-hard about taking birth control pills," Cooke says. They have estrogen, which increases your chance for clots. 

Some other forms of birth control and hormone therapy for post-menopause symptoms also use estrogen. Talk to your doctor about which options are safest for you.


Living With

See the causes, dangers, and treatments of DVT in this slideshow.