Heart Problems and Pregnancy....2

Heart Problems and Pregnancy....2

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3... What are the risks?
The risks depend on the nature and severity of your heart condition. For example:
  • Heart rhythm issues. Minor abnormalities in heart rhythm are common during pregnancy. They're not usually cause for concern. If you need treatment for an arrhythmia, you'll likely be given medication, the same as you would if you weren't pregnant.
  • Heart valve issues. Having an artificial heart valve or scarring or malformation of your heart or valves can increase your risk of complications during pregnancy. If your valves aren't working properly, you might have trouble tolerating the increased blood flow that occurs during pregnancy.
    In addition, artificial or abnormal valves carry an increased risk of a potentially life-threatening infection of the lining of the heart (endocarditis) and heart valves. Mechanical artificial heart valves also pose serious risks during pregnancy due to the need to adjust use of blood thinners, the potential for life-threatening clotting (thrombosis) of heart valves. Taking blood thinners can also put your developing baby at risk.
  • Congestive heart failure. As blood volume increases, congestive heart failure can worsen.
  • Congenital heart defect If you were born with a heart problem, your baby has a greater risk of developing some type of heart defect, too. You might also be at risk for heart problems occurring during pregnancy and of premature birth.
4... Do some heart conditions cause more complications than others do?
Certain heart conditions, especially narrowing of the mitral valve or aortic valve, can pose life-threatening risks for mother or baby. Depending on the circumstances, some heart conditions require major treatments — such as heart surgery — before you try to conceive.
Pregnancy isn't recommended for women who have the rare congenital condition Eisenmenger's syndrome or high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart (pulmonary hypertension).

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