Heart Disease and Thrombosis in Pregnancy

Tennis champion Serena Williams recently opened up about a harrowing experience after giving birth to her daughter in 2017. Ms. Williams, who had a pulmonary embolism (PE) − a blood clot in her lungs − in 2010, ended up having multiple blood clots shortly after her daughter was born. These clots could have been fatal without immediate treatment, but Ms. Williams knew the signs and symptoms to look for and fiercely advocated for herself after some members of her medical team dismissed her concerns.

On the heels of Ms. Williams’ story, we’re pleased to have Dr. Kathryn Lindley join us this month to discuss what women should know about pregnancy and cardiac complications such as heart attack, blood clots, and heart failure. Dr. Lindley also addresses the importance of postpartum care and safe contraception options for women with heart disease.

Key takeaways:

  • Women are having children at older ages, leading to higher rates of cardiac complications
  • Counseling on contraception and pregnancy risks should begin early
  • Most pregnant patients can do well with the right team
  • Postpartum is the highest risk time – postpartum care is important!
  • Consider long-acting reversible contraceptives as first-line agents

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