Links Between High Risk Pregnancy and Heart Disease

By: JohnBarnes

Pregnancy causes many changes in the body of a woman due to many changes in hormones and even causes an increase in the risk of heart disease. Some women who did not have cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels and blood pressure suddenly start having risk factors for heart disease. Women with a heart condition need to take extra care during pregnancy.

How Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Heart Disease

These changes during pregnancy make the heart vulnerable to infections or other conditions.

 Hormonal imbalance

Hormones are chemicals that glands in the body make and release to travel to various organs through the bloodstream. The hormones control mood, growth, development and reproduction.Estrogen one of the female hormones increases significantly during pregnancy. It can cause changes in the blood make up increasing Nursing Essay Writing clotting in preparation for childbirth to prevent excess loss of blood. In some women, it might cause excessive clotting which causes thrombosis in the blood vessels to stop proper circulation. Poor circulation increases the risk of a heart attack.  Estrogen can also cause an increase in blood pressure which is another risk factor for heart disease.

Increased risk of diabetes

Pregnancy alters hormonal levels, and this affects the way a woman’s body processes sugar called glucose.  The levels of glucose can drop slightly during early stages of pregnancy. These levels increase in the later stages of pregnancy, but they can become a risk if the body does not produce adequate levels of insulin, the Nursing Writing Servicehormone responsible for processing sugar.  Health professionals refer to this condition as gestational diabetes because it stops after childbirth in many women. Gestational diabetes is prevalent among overweight women. It can increase the risk of a heart attack or even stroke if it damages the blood vessels. The damage causes the artery walls to become hard and narrow thus preventing proper circulation of blood to various body organs including to and from the heart.

Other Risks for Heart Disease during Pregnancy

Depending on the severity of the risky pregnancy, a woman can have one of the conditions that increase the risk of getting heart diseases.


Arrhythmia refers to heart rhythm issues.  Many pregnant women experience abnormalities in their heart rhythm. However, it is something that should not be a risk to heart diseases if the defect is mild or if a woman gets treatment soon after noticing that the heart rhythm is becoming is changing considerably.  A doctor will prescribe medication in the same way that non-pregnant individual.

Malfunction of heart valve

If the heart valves are not working efficiently, a mother will have trouble to tolerate an increase in blood flow that occurs during pregnancy.Women with malformation or scars on the heart or its valves can increase the risk of complication during the pregnancy.  Artificial heart valves also cause the problem. Health-center Additionally, abnormal or artificial valves increase the risk of life-threatening infections in the heart valves and endocarditis (lining of the heart). Mechanical artificial heart valves pose a severe threat as they are prone to thrombosis (life-threatening clotting). It the reason medical recommend that patients with mechanical valves should use blood thinners.

Pregnancy increases the risk of heart disease because it causes increases in blood volumes by 30-50 % to help in nourishing the baby. The heart labors more due to the rise in the workload of pumping more blood each minute.  Blood flow in an expectation mother changes abruptly and the heart must work harder to pump at appropriate pressure until a few weeks after delivery.