There is no specific treatment for thrombophilia, unless it is caused by an underlying medical illness (such as nephrotic syndrome), where the treatment of the underlying disease is needed. In those with unprovoked and/or recurrent thrombosis, or those with a high-risk risk form of thrombophilia, the most important decision is whether to use anticoagulation medications, such as warfarin, on a long-term basis to reduce the risk of further episodes. This risk needs to weighed against the risk that the treatment will cause significant bleeding, as the reported risk of major bleeding is over 3% per year, and 11% of those with major bleeding may die as a result.
Apart from the abovementioned forms of thrombophilia, the risk of recurrence after an episode of thrombosis is determined by factors such as the extent and severity of the original thrombosis, whether it was provoked (such as by immobilization or pregnancy), the number of previous thrombotic events, male sex, the presence of an inferior vena cava filter, the presence of cancer, symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome, and obesity. These factors tend to be more important in the decision than the presence or absence of a detectable thrombophilia.
Those with antiphospholipid syndrome may be offered long-term anticoagulation after a first unprovoked episode of thrombosis. The risk is determined by the subtype of antibody detected, by the antibody titer (amount of antibodies), whether multiple antibodies are detected, and whether it is detected repeatedly or only on a single occasion.
Women with a thrombophilia who are contemplating pregnancy or are pregnant usually require alternatives to warfarin during pregnancy, especially in the first 13 weeks, when it may produce abnormalities in the unborn child. Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH, such as enoxaparin) is generally used as an alternative. Warfarin and LMWH may safely be used in breastfeeding.
When women experience recurrent pregnancy loss secondary to thrombophilia, some studies have suggested that low molecular weight heparin reduces the risk of miscarriage. When the results of all studies are analysed together, no statistically signifiant benefit could be demonstrated.
Often there are no complications.