Congestive Heart Failure Expert Forum
Chances of survival with heart failure during pregnancy
About This Forum:

CHF is a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. In some cases, the heart can’t fill with enough blood. In other cases, the heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body with enough force. Some people have both problems. The term "heart failure" doesn’t mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. Heart failure is a serious condition that requires medical care. This forum is a place to ask questions about CHF. Some examples are: How is CHF diagnosed? What treatment options are available for me?

If you have a question that requires immediate medical attention, or if you think you may have an emergency situation, please call your doctor or 911 IMMEDIATELY!

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Chances of survival with heart failure during pregnancy

I have congestive heart failure and I'm 8 wks. pregnant. My left ventricle has an ejection fraction of 20%. What are the chances of a successfull pregnancy?
1884349_tn?1353818598
Hello and welcome to the forum.

You pose an important though difficult question to answer in terms of "percentages".  There is no doubt that having heart failure puts both you and the fetus at increased risk of complications. Having said that, we have managed many patients with heart failure through pregnancy with good results. Likely, if you are otherwise doing well, things will be ok until the end of 3rd trimester/around the time of delivery. Around this time, your body and heart will be pumping a lot of extra blood and this can take a bit of a toll on your heart and thus you will need to be watched closely.

The other important question is how "well compensated" is your heart failure. In other words, are you having to come in and out of the hospital with heart failure complications or are you, other than having a low EF, feeling quite well.

Regardless, I would make sure you discuss these things very openly with your cardiologist and make sure that you are being cared for by a team that has expertise in these areas.

Wishing you only the best in health and happiness.

Dr. Rich
2 Comments
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I haven't had to be hospitalized for chf. I feel rather normal. This is my 2nd pregnancy. My first one I was able to carry my son to almost 40 weeks without any complications. Thank you for your response.
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1884349_tn?1353818598
Jonathan D. Rich, MDBlank
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL
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