Elevated Hemoglobin Hematocrit And White Blood Cells – During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by up to 50%. With a decrease in hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and the percentage of red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood (especially in the last trimester), the platelet count also decreases slightly. However, the white blood cells (WBCs) in the blood increase following pregnancy, known as leukocytosis.
Leukocytes or WBCs are classified as granulocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes) and granulocytes (eosinophils, neutrophils and basophils), which make up the body’s immune system and fight infection (1).
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Elevated Hemoglobin Hematocrit And White Blood Cells
Read this post to know about the causes of high WBC count in pregnancy and the complications associated with this condition.
Increase In Red Blood Cells [rbc] From Testosterone Therapy.
Following pregnancy, there is a gradual increase in the normal WBC count (leukocytosis), with a slight shift towards an increase in the percentage of neutrophils.
Leukocytosis begins in the first trimester, continues throughout pregnancy, peaks during delivery, and usually normalizes after four weeks (1) (2).
Pregnancy condition XA characterized by the onset of high blood pressure, protein in the urine and water retention and gestational diabetes
(GDM) (3) (4). Therefore, the leukocyte count should be interpreted correctly and correlated during prenatal visits and postpartum care (1).
Prominent Role Of Platelets In The Formation Of Circulating Neutrophil Red Cell Heterocellular Aggregates In Sickle Cell Anemia
During pregnancy, white blood cells are often checked to look for signs of infection or inflammation in the body. WBC levels increase from eight to forty weeks into the pregnancy period. As you can see in the graph below, they peak around the 32nd week and begin to decline downward (12).
Even in healthy pregnancies, it is normal for a woman’s WBC count to rise, especially towards the end of pregnancy. However, if this increase is accompanied by any signs of infection or other medical conditions, it will likely warrant further testing and evaluation.
Specific causes of elevated WBC count include bacterial or viral infections, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, certain medications (such as epinephrine
XA hormone as well as a neurotransmitter responsible for the body’s fight or flight response or corticosteroids), severe allergic reactions, and even severe stress. Any bacterial or viral infection in the body can cause an increase in a person’s white blood cell count.”
Hemoglobin And Hematocrit
However, due to the physiological stress caused by pregnancy, you may have a higher WBC count even in a normal pregnancy. Thus, maternal WBC count cannot be a primary screening technique for detecting serious pregnancy complications (5). Conversely, an elevated WBC count in your urine sample indicates a urinary tract infection (UTI) (6).
A complex system of glands and organs that produce hormones, metabolic processes and the reproductive system undergoes several changes to nourish the developing fetus and prepare the body for labor and delivery. As your pregnancy progresses, this physiological and emotional stress raises your leukocyte count as the leukocytes receive stimulatory impulses (7).
During a healthy pregnancy, leukocytosis is commonly referred to as an increased percentage of neutrophils in the blood. However, there are many types of WBCs, and high levels of other WBCs may suggest different diagnoses (1) (8).
The increase in the WBC count is mainly due to an increase in the neutrophil and lymphocyte count (1).
Is High Wbc (white Blood Cells) Count In Pregnancy Harmful?
Studies have shown that the lymphocyte count decreases during the first and second trimesters and increases during the third trimester (1).
Routine blood tests during pregnancy, such as a complete blood count (CBC), usually measure the white blood cell count. Your doctor may perform diagnostic tests for hemoglobin, WBC, and platelet count at almost every prenatal visit to look for conditions that could complicate the pregnancy (6).
An elevated white blood cell count may not present any symptoms during pregnancy. However, the symptoms of a high WBC count in non-pregnant people usually include (9)
If you notice any of these symptoms in pregnancy, contact your healthcare provider, as it may be a sign of infection or underlying medical complications.
High Hematocrit: How Testosterone Replacement Therapy Can Affect Your Health
While leukocytosis is common during pregnancy, it can also be due to an underlying problem that typical prenatal WBC count tests cannot detect, requiring further testing. In the first trimester, higher levels of platelets and WBC counts are associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, thus emphasizing the importance of monitoring these markers for potential pregnancy complications (5) (10).
A high WBC count during pregnancy, also known as leukocytosis, is caused by the physiological stress of pregnancy. A moderate increase in the WBC count during pregnancy is normal. However, if the WBC count is abnormally elevated, it may indicate an underlying condition or infection (8).
Routine blood tests conducted by health care providers during pregnancy help monitor any possible abnormalities and ensure the well-being of mother and baby. However, you can take general precautions, such as maintaining good hygiene, staying hydrated, eating a well-balanced diet, and following prescribed medications religiously, to minimize the risk of infections and inflammatory conditions (13).
Although there could be no typical signs to describe a high WBC count in pregnancy, some women may experience a tendency to bleed easily, high fever, fatigue and weight loss. In addition, during pregnancy there may be an increase in the white blood cell (WBC) count that starts already in the first trimester. This is due to the sudden pregnancy-related changes that occur in the body. While a slight increase in the WBC count is to be expected during pregnancy, it can sometimes be a sign of infections, dehydration, or other medical problems. Therefore, it is ideal to seek medical attention if you experience any atypical symptoms in pregnancy to avoid distress that may affect the mother’s well-being.
Mean Values For (a) Red Blood Cells (x106/µl), (b) Hemoglobin (g/dl),…
One of the hematological parameters during pregnancy is an increased white blood cell (WBC) count (leukocytosis), which is usually normal. However, some underlying problems may also increase the WBC count during pregnancy. The infographic below covers the implications of the increase in various white blood cells during pregnancy.
Learn about the symptoms of an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count and effective management techniques. Get the answers you need to stay healthy during pregnancy.
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Dr. Miguel Razio Osorio started his career in 2004 and has 19 years of experience in various fields of gynecology. After two years of internship and social service, he decided to specialize in G&O. Since 2013, Dr. Razio has dedicated his training and practice to improving the obstetrical and gynecological health of His patients, while receiving his degree as a certified specialist in…more
Back To The Basics: Blood Disorders
Aneesha holds a BS in Biotechnology from USTM, Meghalaya and a MSc in Applied Microbiology from VIT, Vellore. With two years of experience, she has worked on various research projects in the field of food science. In addition, she has internship experience at Oil India Limited as an R&D project apprentice. As a writer at , Aneesha promises… more
Rivka is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and interesting content in the fields of fertility, pregnancy, birth and post-pregnancy. She studied Biotechnology and Genetics at Loyola Academy, Osmania University and received a certification in “Pregnancy Nutrition and Lifestyle” from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU). She dealt with health and more
Rashmi Das has over four years of experience as a clinical coordinator, medical content writer and medical conference coordinator. Her continuing interest in medical journals and writing leads her to write research articles for. She writes health and lifestyle articles for children and pregnant and lactating women. Rashmi graduated in biotechnology from the MITS School of Biotechnology, … more What is the hematocrit? The hematocrit (also spelled hematocrit) is a measurement of the volume of red blood cells in the blood, expressed as a percentage. In the laboratory, this can be determined manually by measuring “packed cell volume” or automatically by determining the red cell count and then multiplying by the average cell volume (ie erythrocyte volume fraction). The hematocrit can be estimated by tripling the measured hemoglobin concentration (in grams per deciliter or grams per deciliter) and subtracting the units. Understanding the Metrocrit The term “Metrocrit” is derived from the Greek words “chaime”, which means “blood”, and “crites”, which means “judge”. This combination of words means “to separate blood”. The hematocrit is called by the following additional names: packed cell volume (usually this is seen as less accurate than measuring erythrocyte volume fraction due to the plasma in the interstitial space of the packed cells) packed red cell volume erythrocyte volume fraction The effect of blood hematocrit on dried blood samples is a big topic for discussion The hematocrit level can vary depending on multiple factors that affect the red blood cells. The level of body moisture can affect the hematocrit. As the volume of water in the body decreases, the volume percentage of the red blood cells increases. In addition, studies indicate that arterial blood has a slightly lower hematocrit than venous blood. Why does it matter? The viscosity of blood can change the results of dried blood stain (DBS) paper or cards, because viscosity determines how well the blood spreads on the dried blood stain paper. The spot area of the sample usually has a linear, inverse relationship to the blood hematocrit. Therefore, blood results with a high hematocrit level
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