Thanks to medical progress, most children with congenital heart disease can grow normally, and their symptoms will gradually improve with age. However, female patients may encounter a question: Can patients with congenital heart disease become pregnant? This article explains in detail how patients with congenital heart disease should take care of themselves. Can patients with congenital heart disease become pregnant? What methods can be used to evaluate the possibility of pregnancy, and what situations are not suitable for pregnancy, will be revealed to you at once.
Two major care points for congenital heart disease
1.Understand your own condition
“Know yourself and the enemy, and you will be victorious in every battle.” The same is true when facing congenital heart disease. When patients know little about their condition, they may not only lack awareness of daily health care, but may even ignore signs and delay treatment.
Therefore, if you are not sure whether you have congenital heart disease, you should first ask your parents or go to the hospital for a cardiac examination. If it is confirmed that you have congenital heart disease but you have not seen a doctor for a long time, you should arrange for a complete heart-related examination to fully understand your medical history, the medications you should use, and related daily care information.
2.Regular tracking and testing
Generally speaking, most congenital heart disease will be detected in infants and young children. For more severe cases, related cardiac surgery will be performed at an early age to improve the patient’s heart function. However, this does not mean that it is a one-time solution.
Taking the common congenital heart disease – Fallot’s IV disease as an example, most patients can engage in normal activities or work after surgery, but long-term follow-up examinations reveal that they gradually develop symptoms of pulmonary artery insufficiency at the right ventricular outlet. In this case, the doctor will decide whether pulmonary valve replacement is needed for treatment depending on the condition. It is recommended that every patient with congenital heart disease should return for regular check-ups to keep track of their heart health.
Can I get pregnant if I have congenital heart disease?
Pregnancy may be one of the largest differences in treatment between adults and children with congenital heart disease.
Pregnancy will have a huge impact on the human body. The blood and blood flow of pregnant women will increase, and the degree of blood coagulation will increase, which will also increase the burden on the heart and increase the risk of arrhythmia, pulmonary edema and other risks. If patients with congenital heart disease plan to become pregnant, they should discuss it with their doctor first.
At this time, the doctor will use electrocardiogram, cardiac ultrasound, chest X-ray and other methods to confirm the heart health of the pregnant woman, and check whether there are other diseases, or related medical history such as the medications she is taking and the treatments she has received in the past.
Can congenital heart disease be inherited?
When female patients with congenital heart disease plan to become pregnant, they often worry about whether the next generation will inherit congenital heart disease.
According to research from the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, if both parents do not have congenital heart disease, the chance of their children developing the disease is about 0.8%; if the parents’ congenital heart disease is not associated with chromosomal abnormalities or gene mutations, the next generation’s chance of developing the disease is about 0.8%. There is also a chance of congenital heart disease, which is about 3 to 12%, that is, about 30% of patients with congenital heart disease are genetically related.
Patients with congenital heart disease have 5 major conditions that are not suitable for pregnancy: cardiovascular disease grade 4 or above is not recommended
For female patients with mild symptoms, pregnancy is usually a viable option after diagnosis. However, there are also a small number of patients with more severe or complex symptoms who may not be suitable for childbirth to avoid risk to the mother or the fetus. The following are the five major medical conditions that are not suitable for pregnancy:
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension
- Severe systemic ventricular dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction <30%)
- In patients with Marfan syndrome, the diameter of the aorta is enlarged by more than four centimeters.
- Severe aortic valve stenosis (Aortic valve Stenosis), mitral valve stenosis (Mitral stenosis)
- Native severe coarctation
According to the WHO’s Pregnancy Grading of Cardiovascular Disease, the above conditions all fall into the category of Level 4 (pregnancy is not recommended). Other conditions, depending on the severity and type, may not require too much worry, or must be closely monitored during pregnancy.
Be careful with congenital heart disease! Endocarditis and dental fillings may also lead to infection
Endocarditis is caused by bacteria in the blood flowing through the heart and attaching to the heart tissue. Normal heart tissue is generally less susceptible to bacterial damage, but patients with congenital heart disease should be particularly careful. Having a heart defect or having had heart surgery makes it easier for bacteria to get in.
Therefore, patients with congenital heart disease should explain their condition to the doctor before undergoing dental treatment or any surgery. The doctor may prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to prevent bacteria from entering the blood through the wound during the treatment and causing infectious heart disease. Possibility of endometritis. It is recommended that patients with congenital heart disease should clean their teeth regularly to reduce the chance of dental fillings or extractions.
Can people with congenital heart disease exercise?
Many patients with congenital heart disease may not be sensitive to exercise to avoid accidental heart disease. However, exercise is actually an indispensable part of maintaining human health. Research points out that although congenital heart disease does reduce patients’ exercise ability, sitting for a long time and obesity are equally harmful to health, so it is recommended that most patients should still exercise regularly. Also because the type and severity of congenital heart disease, as well as the type and intensity of exercise are all related to each other, it is recommended to consult with a physician to get the exercise advice that is best for you.