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Avatar universal

Pregnancy/post partum and PVC's

Hi there,
I'm a 33yo female and only started having PVC's at 15w pregnant. They continued throughout pregnancy and when I had the holter monitor it showed anywhere between 6 and 2000 PVC's in one day (I had about 3 or 4 monitors in pregnancy). When I delivered my baby it seemed to get a bit better - I would still get them most days but would only feel a few. Over the last few weeks I've been plagued with them again and feel anywhere between 50 and 500 in a day (and I'm sure I'm having more but I just don't feel them). I'm so anxious and can't stop feeling as though I'm going to drop dead. It's so hard to live with these and I can't stop crying and living in constant fear. I've got a cardiologist, psychiatrist and a psychologist and it is not helping as I'm going out of my mind because no-one can confirm why I'm getting these horrible things. It was suggested that the hormones were causing them and I'm really tempted to give up breastfeeding as a last resort. I was put on propranol (sp?) 20mg to take when required and took one tablet this morning and today I've had more PVC's than ever! I'm hoping that someone has some advice that has been in a similar situation. I've had mutiple tests done (blood tests, stress test, ECG, heart u/s and everything is normal albeit PVC's show up on the holter monitors but have been deemed benign). I see a general cardiologist and I think he's sick of me and my worries but I'm booked into see an electrophysiologist but can't get an appointment until May 2015! My questions are as follows:
1) Has anyone experienced PVC's in pregnancy and they have then disappeared?
2) Do you think breastfeeding hormones would continue to cause the PVC's and did anyone stop having them after stopping breastfeeding?
3) Do I have to take a beta blocker more regularly to see a difference? I'm only meant to take mine when needed and found the PVC's were worse today after taking one dose so would it make a difference if I took the beta blocker over the course of a day?

Thanks everyone I just don't know how people live with this day to do. I've experienced it for 8 months now and it's tiring and stressful. I know that anxiety makes it worse but it also causes anxiety so I need to break the cycle.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm sorry you are dealing with this.  I know friends who've had PVCs during pregnancy and they did go away afterwards.  I have suffered from them too, but not during pregnancy.  The doctors don't know much about why we feel them at certain times but not at others.  Mine caused terrible anxiety too, and I couldn't break the anxiety/PVC cycle so I started taking Lexapro.  I have to say it helped me a lot and hopefully that continues.  I never tried beta blockers so I don't know too much about them.  Certain ones can slow the heart rate, and for some people like me PVCs are more likely to occur at a slower heart rate.  So they, or at least certain ones, are not always helpful.  My EP tells me there are some that do not slow the heart rate though.  Wishing you relief soon.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. Mine occur at a lower HR too so I was quite worried about taking the beta blocker too but I thought that the cardiologist would have taken that into consideration. It is a good point so I'll raise it with my GP. I've got Zoloft too but haven't taken it yet because a few years ago when I was on anxiety meds I had episodes of SVT so I'm worried they are linked! As you can see my anxiety is out of control atm! I'm glad that Lexapro has helped you - I think I really need to consider taking the Zoloft.
Avatar universal
It's good you have a psychiatrist to advise you on the anti-anxiety meds.  Mine told me that for Lexapro up to 20mg there are no negative effects on the heart (it may rarely cause arrhythmias when over 20mg).  My cardiologist (EP) approved my use of the Lexapro and told me it might be having beneficial physiological effects on the heart through its effect on the nervous system.  That is in addition to the beneficial effects on the heart through the reduction of anxiety.

I too have SVT, though I had an ablation and it has improved.  Did you have SVT only when on the meds, or is it something you've suffered with before being on them?

I totally understand the out of control anxiety.  Given my experiences with health anxiety, I am a firm believer that anxiety causes physical symptoms about the very thing you obsess over.  If you obsess over your heart, you will have heart symptoms.  If you obsess over MS, you will have strange tingly sensations, for example.  You get the idea.  I highly recommend a book called It's Not All in Your Head by Asmundson and Taylor.

In your case hormones may well be playing a role.  Many of my issues occurred after I had my baby, and my EP also mentioned that postpartum issues can come into play.  I am not sure on the details.  Another thing I did was see a wellness doctor, who does more extensive bloodwork and testing than a regular general doctor, to help me get all my vitamin, hormone, etc. levels where they should be.
Avatar universal
Hello,  I have also developed pvcs during pregnancy, and furthermore, ventricular tachycardia during pregnancy, which has since subsided postnatal. Unfortunately,  the pvcs have not.  I have thousands a day, and some days seem worse than others.  I remind myself they're benign In a healthy heart, and so far ekgs, and echos have shown that to be the case.  I am also breastfeeding.   Are you still breastfeeding?   Have your pvcs improved over time?  I hope so.  I know how scary this is, and I'm sure you just want your normal life back.  These constant pvcs make me pretty miserable.   I'm desperate for them to subside.  My Cardiologist has me going for a cardiac mri.  So far I haven't been able to complete it due to clostraphobia, but I know I must,  as he says there is no better way to study a heart, and getting to the bottom of this is important.
1 Comments
I know this is over a year later, but did your PVCs subside once you stopped BF? I've had PVCs for years but not at the rate (1000s/day) that I've been experiencing post-partum.  
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