Pulmonary Hypertension Expert Forum
High Pressure and Pregnancy
About This Forum:

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition associated with high blood pressure in the arteries that connect your heart with your lungs. It is a serious condition for which there are many emerging treatments but no definite cure. In this disease, the blood vessels that carry oxygen-poor blood from your heart to your lungs become hard and narrow, which causes your heart to work harder to pump the blood. This forum is a place to ask questions about Pulmonary Hypertension. Some examples are: What caused me to get pulmonary hypertension? How is pulmonary hypertension diagnosed? What treatment options are available?

IMPORTANT!! 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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High Pressure and Pregnancy

Hi, I am 17 years old and also 29 weeks pregnant. I went to the high risk doctor for a small PFO in my heart and this week she is having me checked for a high pulmonary pressure. I was wondering if this was the same this as pulmonary hypertension. Also, if i do happen to have a high pressure, what can they do about it. I have been reading on the internet and i am now scared to death because having this while pregnant, causes a high mortality rate. What is considered a high pressure, how likely am I to have this high pressure, and if I have high pressure what can they do?

(Is there a big chance of me dying in other words?)
1884349_tn?1353818598
Hello and welcome to the forum.

I hope I will be able to significantly alleviate your fears.  The last thing you need right now during your pregnancy is more anxiety.

1. How did they discover the PFO?  In other words, why were they looking for this in the first place?
2. Do you have symptoms of shortness of breath (or did you have symptoms prior to your pregnancy)?

The chance that you have pulmonary hypertension is EXTREMELY low.  However, I can not say 100% because I dont have all the information and dont know why you are undergoing testing.  Get the testing done asap so that you can put all this behind you.  And if after the testing is done ANYONE tries to tell you you have pulmonary hypertension, please see a specialist for a 2nd opinion as, unfortunately, I would still most likely doubt the diagnosis.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Rich

4 Comments
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Whenever I would exercise like, play basketball, I would get short of breath to the point of almost passing out. They did a stress test on me and I passed with flying colors. So they did a echo to check out my heart and the found a PFO. The doctor said it was as small as a pencil point. And that it shouldn't be causing me to get out of breath. I have really bad anxiety and before pregnancy it was controlled with Prozac. After I started taking the Prozac, I rarely got out of breath. The doctor thought that it was my anxiety causing my shortness of breath during activities such as basketball. So with my history of PFO, my OB/GYN sent me to a Fetal and Maternal Specialist to make sure that the baby didnt have any other heart defects. The baby doesnt, but the specialist frietghend me whenever she told me that she wanted to have another echo done on my heart to check the pulmonary pressure in it. To see if I will be able to with stand labor. Is that more helpful?
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1884349_tn?1353818598
Thanks for the additional information.

Just for your information, 25% of people have a PFO (most will never know) and your doctor correctly mentioned that it was not the cause of your shortness of breath.

You sound like a very healthy person who is hopefully having a healthy pregnancy.  I would feel quite reassured that everything will be fine and that you do NOT have pulmonary hypertension.  As I said before, though, if anyone even dares try to give you the diagnosis of PH, you either find another doctor or at least get a 2nd opinion with a PH specialist.

Good luck.

Dr. Rich
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Thanks!
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1884349_tn?1353818598
Jonathan D. Rich, MDBlank
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL
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