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5 months pregnant, suffering from peripheral artery disease, RHD. Complications in pregnancy?

Hi I am XXXXXXX, I am 5 months pregnant according to my doctors. I recently found out. I used to have RHD when I was 15, I took medication till I was 17 then I stopped. I was supposed to continue with medication till I am 21, I am 20 now. Is there any complications that might occur in my pregnancy? I was also diagnosed last year with Peripheral Artery Disease, and I am not taking medication for that either. Can you please help me if there would be any complications?
Asked On : Thu, 22 Nov 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  46
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OBGYN 's  Response
Hi and welcome to the site.

RHD can impact the pregnancy seriously. It depends on the amount of damage to the heart valves. There are 2 valves in the heart that can be damaged by RHD. Some women who have no problems with heart symptoms when not pregnant, may begin to have trouble during the pregnancy. Usually we would recommend a check of the heart to see how the blood is flowing past the valves. In some cases the valve will be very narrow and the heart has to work very heard to get blood past. During pregnancy, there is 50% more blood in a womans body so the heart has to work even harder. This can cause the heart to fail. In other cases, the valve will be loose and allow blood to flow backwards. This can also get worse with pregnancy and a woman may have trouble moving the blood around the body and to the baby properly. Sometimes fluid can back up into the lungs as well.

This doesn't mean that these things will happen for you. It just means that it's possible with RHD to have such complications. In some cases, depending on which valve is damaged and to what degree, just bed rest may be needed. In other cases, things can get very severe.

It would be helpful if you were able to have a doctor who in an expert in pregnancies that may be complicated by heart disease.

I hope this information has been helpful.
Answered: Mon, 3 Dec 2012
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OBGYN Dr. Archana Singh's  Response
Thanks for your query
At the age of 15 u may had acute rheumatic fever. RHD is a complication of acute rheumatic fever if not treated properly with penicillin injections.Yes there is definitely increased risk of comlications due to RHD in pregnancy. But that will again depends upon the degree of lesion and other associated complications. Certain risk factors which aggravate the problem severly are anemia, high blood pressure, obesity, thyroid problems, excessive intake of high calorie diet, coffee, alcohol etc. So try to avoid them as much as possible.You need to be treated very cautiously during pregnancy also by a cardiologist. He will treat you accordingly. Outcome of baby is usually not affected,but the baby may suffer from prematurity as there is increased risk of preterm labour.
When left untreated, PAD can lead to serious complications, ranging from increased risk of heart attack or stroke to limb amputation.So you need to be treated properly.

Hope it helps.
Answered: Mon, 3 Dec 2012
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