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:
July 14, 2015
- 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?
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