"STICKY BLOOD" aka "HUGHES SYNDROME" and "APS" and "APLS" and 'ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODY SYNDROME"
So many names - yet hardly anyone has heard of it except in relation to infertility. It's taken me 20 years to get a diagnosis - finally!
For 3 decades I have treated pregnant women and those hoping to become pregnant. I have two children of my own, Luckily I had no problems conceiving. But for some women APS is the cause of infertility.
So what is APS and what does it have to do with fertility?
APS is a rare autoimmune disease which causes the blood to clot abnormally. It is incurable and most doctors don't seem to know much about it, if at all. Hence the 20 years for me to be diagnosed. In order to be diagnosed you must have at least two "events" such as a DVT, a pulmonary embolism, a stroke, or repeated miscarriages. Blood is tested 3 months apart and if positive on both occasions, with a history of "events" a diagnosis is made. You can be singly, doubly or triply positive. I'm triply.
APS = abnormal clotting
Abnormal clotting means the baby might not get the blood flow it needs and this in turn can mean the baby comes early or suffers retardation.
If it's incurable, what do you do
If APS is suspected in pregnancy, aspirin is used to "thin" the blood - and this simple measure can enable a mum to take her baby to term. Yay!