Blood clots are typically a very useful mechanism within the body. When you get a papercut or other minor injury, you may notice that the blood eventually stops flowing. This stoppage happens because of blood clots at the site of the wound, preventing you from losing all of your blood through one small cut. When the blood within your veins forms a clot, however, this same mechanism that usually protects you can turn deadly instead. Blood clots in your veins can break off and travel to important organs, causing a heart attack or stroke, among other issues. It is important to know what the common causes of blood clots are, to find out if you may be at a higher risk for this complication.

1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a condition that comes with plenty of risks, including blood clots. The additional weight puts pressure on your pelvis, which compresses the blood vessels in your legs and pelvic area. Pregnancy also causes your blood to clot more quickly due to an increase in estrogen. This increase in estrogen is a useful adaptation during labor and birth, but can also cause dangerous blood clots to form during and after your pregnancy. This risk level is relatively small in most pregnant women, but it increases when other risk factors for blood clots are present. To lower your chances, stay active and hydrated throughout your pregnancy.