Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital Heart Defects Pregnancy and Congenital Heart Defects

Adults with congenital heart defects have a higher risk of pregnancy complications. If you are planning to become pregnant, or are trying to prevent pregnancy, talk to your doctor about the following:

  • Medicines. Some medicines prescribed to adults with congenital heart defects are not safe to take during pregnancy, as they may harm your baby.
  • Tests to evaluate your heart. During pregnancy, a woman’s organ systems, including the heart and blood vessels, go through major changes to support the growing baby. Your doctor may order extra tests before pregnancy to determine whether your heart can tolerate pregnancy. Most women with congenital heart defects can have normal pregnancies.
  • Genetic testing. People who have congenital heart defects are at increased risk for miscarriage and of having babies with congenital heart defects. Your doctor may suggest that you speak with a genetic counselor or have genetic tests done. If you are already pregnant, your doctor may run tests, like a fetal echocardiography, to look for congenital heart defects in your unborn baby.
  • Birth control. Some women with congenital heart defects should avoid some methods of birth control. Talk to your doctor about the best method for you.
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