living with Pulmonary Hypertension

Pregnancy and PH

Becoming pregnant when you have pulmonary hypertension (PH) is dangerous. The life of both mum and baby are put at great risk. The risk of pregnancy-related death in women with PH is between 25% and 50%. This risk is related to the changes that take place during pregnancy such as increased heart rate and changes to the immune system. Some of the drugs used to treat PH (eg warfarin) can also put the baby at risk.

The current advice is that pregnancy should be avoided in women with PH. There are many effective contraceptives that can be used safely in PH.

Some women who become pregnant decide to continue with the pregnancy, even when they have been told of the risks involved. Although there are new approaches to managing pregnancy in women with PH, the risks remain high. Early treatment and very, very careful planning can improve the chance of the mum surviving.

If you have any questions about pregnancy and PH, ask a member of your specialist healthcare team. It is important to get detailed expert advice before making any decisions about becoming pregnant.

Last medically reviewed: November, 2015 • Due for review: November, 2018