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Avatar universal

SVT and pregnancy


I am 26 and was diagnosed with SVT when i was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child 20 months ago. NOw i am thinking about having another child but feel so worried about my heart problems!

Here's a bit of history....I think i probably had SVT before i fell pregnant but it was only in pregnancy that it was combined with PACs and PVCs. Since my diagnosis, i also had post partum thyroiditis which made things worse. Then my thyroid went back to normal around a year ago. Sadly, my heart didn't!

In the last 20 months, but more so in the last 6 months now, i've had SVT, PACs, PVCs and PSVTS. I am quite concerned about my holter monitor test that showed i had 23 SVT episodes in 1 DAY!! I didn't feel them all. They ranged from 130 - 155 bpm when resting/walking around house.

Has anyone else had this problem. I had this holter monitor in Feb 2011 and my doctor didn't even refer me to a cardiologist. I also don't take any meds. I didn't think much of it until i re-read the paper a couple of days ago while having an SVT attack that reached 155 bpm. Since then i've felt awful, perhaps over anxious about the whole thing and freaking out about it all!

So, my question is....what should i do!? Should i see a cardiologist asap? Has anyone else had frequent SVT episodes like me and gone on to have a successful pregnancy? CAn you take beta-blockers in pregnancy?

Thanks for your advice!!
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Please see a cardiologist, preferably an EP. I have had svt but not frequent. There are some folks on here that had it frequently and they appear to be doing fantastic after an ablation. I am sure at some point today they will come on and respond to you. Hang in there, but you definately need an EP. Tell your gp you insist on one.
1423357 tn?1511085442
How do these SVT episodes manifest themselves?  Do they come on and leave gradually, or so they begin and end abruptly?

By the way, I have a friend who gets supraventricular tachycardia with each of her three pregnancies which vanishes after delivery never to appear again.

Beta Blockers, and pregancy..... If BB's were ok to use, I would think there'd be a lot fewer women complaining of high blood pressure during their pregnancy. I suspect they are contraindicated except in rare cases  Regardless, I found the  BB's I tried to be ineffective in dealing with SVT.
187666 tn?1331173345
I've had PSVT and ectopics all my life and went through 3 pregnancies without problem. Did my PSVT episodes increase? Yes, a bit but nothing I couldn't handle. The hormones can cause changes in the arrhythmias. If you haven't seen a cardiologist yet, I'd recommend it. S/he can do an echo of the heart, make sure it's in good shape physically, no valve problems and such. If your heart is in good condition, then the arrhythmias are electrical glitches. The cardio can manage those for you to make your life less disrupted by the events. I'm not sure which medications are safe to use during pregnancy. I didn't use any. A pharmacist and your doctor can sort that out.

My personal rule of thumb is: as long as I don't pass out, I'm fine.  LOL  But that's easy for me to say since I've had a jumpy heart all my life.
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone! Sorry about a huge delay in my response. I had a really bad couple of weeks there with my heart and just couldn't think about it.

Just went and saw the cardiologist today. I had an echo and all is fine. He looked at my holter monitor results and said the main prob is sinus tachy and short episode of SVT. They only last 1 minute. They may be exercised induced so i will be having a stress test in a month's time. In the meantime i've been told to take Isoptin a calcium channel blocker...anyone else been on this? Apparently it's the safest option during pregnancy if i was to fall pregnant.

Thanks Ireneo for your rule of thumb! Funnily enough it's what the cardiologist said, "If you don't pass out then it's ok." Guess i just have to chill out a little when the SVT or tachy occurs!
Avatar universal
I had svt from the time I was about 12 years old, but it got dramatically worse each time I was pregnant, so I know what you are going through and how concerned you are about getting pregnant again.  I must confess I was rather foolish in those days and only discussed my concerns with my gp and obstetrician and did not see a cardiologist.  However, after my last pregnancy the episodes continued to be bad and I finally saw a cardiologist.  He put me on verapamil, which I think is the same thing as isoptin, and it worked to keep the episodes shorter and lighter for many years.  I had no side effects from the verapamil.  However, as years went by I think my body adjusted to the medication and the episodes started getting worse again.  I finally opted for an ablation just last year.  Just my personal opinion, but that was the best decision I could have made!  I was scared to death to do it, but it was a simple procedure and best of all it worked!  Good luck to you!  I know the doctors say that svt is not serious and won't kill you, which is certainly reassuring, but it still does scare you to death when it is happening and has a huge impact on your daily life!
187666 tn?1331173345
Glad you were able to get the tests done and get information. A tachy burst of a minute or so isn't fun, kind of slows you down for a moment. Did the doctor mention the valsalva maneuver to break the tachy rhythm?  I used that for years, still use it occasionally. When your heart starts racing for no particular reason, take a breath, hold it and bear down as if you were going to the bathroom. Hold it for about 10 seconds (you may feel your heart bebop around in your chest in protest), then release your breath slowly. Most of the time the heart will drop back to a normal, slower rhythm. It's better to use that within the first minute than possibly have the heart in tachy mode for 15 minutes or more.

Many people use Verapamil and find it helps a lot. I couldn't use it, had way too many side effects but I have used Diltiazem, another calcium channel blocker, and it worked just fine. I hope you feel some improvement soon.
1696573 tn?1307367811
I was given isoptin for SVT during pregnancy as it was regarded as very safe..Unfortunately for me I had a reaction to it and immediately got an itchy rash all over and was told never to take calcium blockers again..eventually I ended up on beta blockers but couldn't do much because I still had SVT episodes every day that were exhausting..You are doing the right thing by seeking professional advice but it is more reassuring to consult with a cardiologist who specialises in EP..Hope this has helped.:)
1019152 tn?1336074292
Hi , if you have another episode of svt, stand on your head.It stops it in a few seconds.  donna
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