In general, having CHD doesn’t affect your chances of getting pregnant (see our section below on birth control)
Most women with CHD can safely get through pregnancy.If you are thinking about pregnancy, you and your partner should make an appointment with your cardiologist to discuss the risks to you and your baby before you become pregnant.
However, there are pregnancy risks for some women with CHD.
Women with certain types of CHD are at higher risk for problems during pregnancy. This list includes women with:
When a woman is pregnant, the amount of blood the heart has to pump significantly increases and this puts a strain on the heart. This can lead to problems in women with certain types of CHD.
You should talk to your cardiologist about pregnancy before you even start trying to get pregnant. And don’t forget that accidents do happen. It’s important to learn how your heart would handle pregnancy and to decide on the safest approach for pregnancy and delivery. This may involve visits to your cardiologist during pregnancy.
Some of our doctors are part of a team of experts that understands CHD and pregnancy. These doctors can talk to you about the risk of pregnancy to help you decide if pregnancy is right for you.
Most people with CHD have a slightly higher chance of having a baby born with CHD. Whether you are male or female, it’s a good idea to talk to your own doctor to find out the chance of your baby being born with a heart condition.
Not all doctors know about which types of birth control are best and safest for people with CHD.Some of our doctors are part of a team of experts that focus on CHD, birth control and pregnancy. These doctors can talk to you about which birth control method is best and safest for you. The service is entirely confidential.
You may not be having sex, and that’s okay. But if and when you want to talk about birth control, just let us know. Some patients feel awkward when first talking about these topics. Don’t worry – we won’t make it into a big deal.
If you are having sex, you need to figure out which method of birth control is best for you. Some birth control methods are more effective than others. Also, some birth control methods are not safe for women with some types of CHD.
Withdrawal. This is one of the least effective forms of birth control because pregnancy still occurs in up to 25% of people who use this method. Also, it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Condoms. These are safe and prevent most STIs. Because pregnancy still occurs in up to 20% of couples that use condoms as their only form of birth control, extra forms of contraception (like birth control pills) are a good idea.
Birth control pills. There are lots of different pills used for birth control. They are good forms of birth control with relatively few side effects. But they only work if you take them every day. That’s why pregnancy still occurs in 8% of women using birth control pills. The other problem with birth control pills is that they don’t protect against STIs.
Other types of contraception. Other types of birth control such as intra-uterine devices (IUDs), patches and injections, may also be safe. You can ask your doctor about these.
The good news is that women with CHD have choices when it comes to birth control and pregnancy. Our clinic can help women decide which options are best for them. There is a safe and effective option for everyone.
Some birth control pills contain a hormone called estrogen. These pills (also known as combined pills) are not recommended for people with the following:
If you don’t know whether this list includes you, ask your cardiologist.
A different hormone, called progesterone or progestin, can also be used for birth control and is safe for most heart conditions. Some of the progestin birth control methods are more effective than others. Progestin-only birth control comes in many forms including a daily pill, an injection that lasts for 3 months, and other options that last for 3-5 years.
I know what you’re thinking – guys can’t have babies! That’s true, but birth control is still important for you to discuss with your partner. It takes two to become pregnant! Condoms are the best choice because they also reduce your risk of genital herpes, pubic lice, etc.
Here are some other websites about pregnancy and birth control that we liked:
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
Any websites linked from this website are created by other organizations. Those organizations are responsible for the information contained within their sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements and do not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites. Any specific comments regarding these sites should be directed toward that individual organization.
We have a simple ‘Getting to Know You’ survey that we ask all visitors to complete (we don’t ask for any personal health information). Website browsing activity will be monitored so that we can learn about the people who visit the website, how often people visit the website, and the web pages that are visited most often. This will help us decide which changes and improvements to make to the website in the future. Results from this project will be described for groups of website visitors (i.e., not for individual users).
Anyone can visit this website and most users will create their own User IDs and passwords. However, there are also Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and pediatric cardiology programs that have officially joined the iHeartChange team and work together to keep this website going. (You can find a list of the ACHD programs in the ‘Welcome to Adult Care’ section of the website). Some of these programs might choose to assign User IDs so that they can track of and how patients from their own programs visit the website. They might even want to track this for research. If you have been assigned a User ID from a program, that program might ask us to give them information about your answers to the ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, how many times you log into the website and which web pages you visit.
Please click below to indicate that you have read the Disclaimer.
We recommend that you register by creating your own User ID and password.
This will allow you to log in again and keep track of which pages on the website you visit.
If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
If you register, it also means that you won’t be shown the disclaimer & survey each time that you visit.
However, registration is not required.
Reminder: please write down your User ID and password for safekeeping
because we don’t store your email address for password reset!
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Knowing your background will help us make this website even better for you.
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This short survey will only take a minute or two to complete.
We hope you enjoy your visit!
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HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
Thanks for checking out our website!
This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
Since this is your first visit, please read our disclaimer!