Factor V Leiden is a genetic mutation of the receptor of the cell that attaches to Protein C when breaking down a clot. Now, you're probably thinking, huh, what does all this mean? Well, it would probably help if I go through a little bit of background information with you.
#How Clotting Works:
When there is trauma to a blood vessel the body releases clotting factors and platelets into the blood stream to plug up the tear in the blood vessel wall. When the repair job has been done the body releases anticoagulants that break down the clot and dissolve it back into the blood stream. See the video below if you'd like an animated version.
#FVL (Factor V Leiden):
So now that you know how clotting works my first statement makes more sense. Factor V is a clotting agent sent in to plug up the damaged vessel wall and when it's time to be dissolved that little clotting factor just wont budge. This is because the anticoagulant - Protein C in this case - just can't grab on to it because the receptors have been changed on the clotting factor. This doesn't mean that it can't be dissolved, just that it takes much longer to do.
FVL comes in two types of strengths depending on your genetics: heterozygous (one gene) or homozygous (both genes). See below for a further descriptions.
Photo Credit: Illustration of Normal Blood Flow Vs Blocked Blood Flow