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Hi katysloan -
There are increased risks for women with mechanical heart valves who become pregnant. Prosthetic heart valves are associated with a variety of complications. These include thromboembolism, structural failure of the valve, bleeding due to anticoagulation, and infection. Thromboembolism is the formation in a blood vessel of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is carried by the blood stream to plug another vessel. The clot may plug a vessel in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), brain (stroke), gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, or leg. Thromboembolism is an important cause of morbidity (disease) and mortality (death), especially in adults. Treatment may involve anticoagulants (bloodthinners), aspirin, or vasodilators (drugs that relax and widen vessels).
If you do want to get a mechanical valve and also have children I would suggest talking to your cardiologist about his/her experience with patients who have become pregnant and I'd also for a recommendation for a high-risk obstetrics gynecologist in your area who you can discuss this with. You may also want to look into online support groups and talk with other women. Good luck to you!August 12, 2010 - 8:09am