Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor may suspect you have factor V Leiden if:

  • You have your first blood clotting incident before age 50
  • You have a family history of the disorder
  • You've had two or more blood-clotting incidents
  • You're a woman who has had recurrent miscarriages or unexplained pregnancy complications
  • You've had blood clots in unusual areas, such as your liver or brain

Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in genetic disorders (geneticist) or a specialist in blood disorders (hematologist) for testing to determine whether the cause of your blood clots is genetic and, specifically, whether you have factor V Leiden.

Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

  • List any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • List your health history, including your history of blood clots. Include any family history of blood clots or known family members with factor V Leiden.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking, along with the dose for each.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For factor V Leiden, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • Do I need to see a specialist?
  • Does my factor V Leiden need to be treated?
  • Do I need to take medication to prevent additional blood clots?
  • What types of side effects can I expect from the medication?
  • Do I need to limit my activity in any way?
  • If I have children, do they need to be tested?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

If your doctor recommends genetic testing, some questions you might want to ask the genetic specialist include:

  • How accurate is this test?
  • What are the risks of the test?
  • What information will come out of the test?
  • What will a positive or negative result tell me?
  • Can the results of the test affect my ability to obtain health insurance?
  • Is an uncertain result possible, and what would that mean?
  • What are my treatment options if a mutation is found?
  • Could other family members be affected?
  • Should my children be tested?
  • What measures are in place to protect my privacy?
  • How experienced is the lab at performing this test?
  • How long will it take to get results back?
July 14, 2015