Pulmonary hypertension while pregnant is a severe condition in which the blood vessels in the lungs and right ventricle of the heart are affected by high blood pressure. In some cases, this condition can get worse. This rare condition can affect young, fertile women as well.
Signs of pulmonary hypertension while pregnant
- Difficulty breathing, which you may notice first while doing physical activity and later even when resting
- Heart palpitations
- Pressure in the chest area
- Swelling of legs and around ankles
- Fainting or feeling dizzy
- Skin and lips turning blue
Pregnancy-related pulmonary hypertension is extremely risky due to the high mortality rate. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes. But, if a woman has a pre-existing condition of pulmonary hypertension, it can be difficult for her body to tolerate these changes. The arteries of the women affected by pulmonary hypertension may be damaged, requiring the heart to put in extra effort to pump blood. This pressure further increases in this condition and can lead to heart failure.
How it affects?
When a healthy woman becomes pregnant, her cardiac output increases, and her pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) decreases. To boost cardiac output, more pressure has applied to the artery. As a result, the heart’s right side fails. This, in turn, puts pressure on the heart’s left ventricle. The resultant cardiac output becomes more compromised, and this can be fatal.
Due to blood loss, contractions, an increase in PVR, and other changes, the labor and delivery phase further raises the risk of complications. Pregnancy is dangerous for women with pulmonary hypertension. If discovered in the early stages of pregnancy, doctors recommend termination; otherwise, the pregnancy is classified as high-risk.