Birth Control and Childbearing

For Individuals with Congenital Heart Disease

For women with severe heart problems, there are other considerations. It is important to discuss whether pregnancy is safe. Some patients with very severe heart disease will be told they are not able to complete a pregnancy. If it is possible to have a child, plans for care before and during the pregnancy must be reviewed with the cardiologist and gynecologist.

As individuals with congenital heart disease become adults and consider marriage and a family, concerns about their own children’s health arise. The most pressing question is whether the heart disease can be inherited. While there is a slight chance of passing on the defect, the risk usually should not interfere with planning children. The cardiologists and genetic specialists are the best sources for specific information about particular risks for each individual.

As females with acquired or congenital heart disease grow into adulthood, it is important to discuss birth control and childbearing with the cardiologist. With some heart problems, it is necessary to plan what type of birth control is medically safe.