Platelet Count (PLT, Thrombocyte Count)
Platelets are the smallest blood cells. They are discoid and have no cell nucleus. Their main function is participation in blood clotting in order to stop bleeding in case of blood vessel injuries.
Platelet counts may fluctuate throughout the day. A low platelet count, also called thrombocytopenia, may occur in women during menstruation or pregnancy. Excessive platelet numbers may occur due to physical exercise. A platelet count also depends on the diet – a low platelet count may be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency, or severe iron deficiency.
A platelet count less than the normal level may occur in healthy pregnant women, it's called gestational thrombocytopenia. Gestational thrombocytopenia frequently occurs in the third trimester. The platelet count returns to normal levels after delivery.