Women with heart diseases should give birth within 40 weeks

Updated:3 months, 2 weeks ago IST

New Delhi, Aug 27 (ANI): Pregnant women with heart disease are recommended to give birth no later than 40 weeks of gestation. A study by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines has recommended such practice. Beyond 40 weeks, pregnancy has no added benefit for the baby and may even have negative effects. Pregnancy is a risky period for women with heart disease because it puts additional stress on the heart, so the guidelines advise inducing labour or a cesarean section at 40 weeks. Heart disease is the main reason why women die during pregnancy in many western countries. In comparison to healthy pregnant women, those with heart disease have a 100 times greater risk of death or heart failure. Most women with heart disease have a healthy pregnancy, but researchers recommend that they should be aware that they have a higher risk of obstetric complications, including premature labour, pre-eclampsia, and post-partum bleeding. An estimated 18-30% of offspring have complications and up to 4% of neonates die because of such complications. Researchers time and again have recommended that In-Vitro fertilisation (IVF) is not for a pregnant woman with a heart disease since the said process often uses high doses of hormones, which increase the risk of thrombosis and heart failure. Also carrying more than one baby puts more stress on the heart; therefore the women with heart disease undergoing IVF are strongly advised to transfer a single embryo. Furthermore, women with congenital heart diseases, for example, pulmonary arterial hypertension, severely dilated aorta, or severely reduced ability of the heart to pump blood, need contraception advice to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Therefore a delivery plan should be devised at 20-30 weeks, specifying vaginal or cesarean delivery for pregnant women suffering from such diseases. The study appears in the European Heart Journal.

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