Both women and men who have a congenital heart defect need to think about a few things when planning a pregnancy. These include the risks of passing a heart defect to your child as well as the possible health risks of a pregnancy for a woman who has a heart defect.1, 2
If you are thinking of
becoming pregnant and you or your partner has a congenital heart defect, there are a couple of things to think about.
If you have a congenital heart defect, your pregnancy may be
considered high-risk. Specific issues will need to be addressed with your
doctor, such as:
You may have a cardiologist involved with your care throughout your
pregnancy and delivery.
A fetal echocardiogram can be done as early as 16 to 18
weeks of pregnancy to check for congenital heart defects in the fetus. Other
testing, such as
chorionic villus sampling or
amniocentesis, may be done.
Sable C, et al. (2011). Best practices in managing transition to adulthood for adolescents with congenital heart disease: The transition process and medical and psychosocial issues: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 123(13): 1454–1485.
Warnes CA, et al. (2008). ACC/AHA 2008 Guidelines for the management of adults with congenital heart disease: Executive summary: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation, 118(23): 2395–2451.
October 11, 2011
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Larry A. Latson, MD - Pediatric Cardiology
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