Many important factors a heart patient must know before starting a family life and giving birth to an innocent
Understanding Congenital Heart Defects
1.3 millions of people in America have some or other types of heart diseases. Talking about American children, 36 thousands of them take birth in each year with some sorts of heart defects. And percentage wise, every 9th child out of 100 has some sort of heart defects in USA. Many researches are going on to know about the causes of congenital heart disease but conclusiveness is yet to usher in.
Congenital heart disease & its causes
As said, exact causes of most of the heart defects within the womb are yet to be known. In most of the cases, the reason is known to be genetic. A few of the cases have found to be due to gene defects that cause heart defects. So, there is very much likelihood that these types of heart defects are the combinations of environmental factors and multiple genetic issues. It has also been studied that many families get 2 to 15 % of heart defects that run through the generations. The gestational heart defects depend upon the hierarchy of heart defects of the previous generation(s).
Genetic syndrome (known cause)
Some of the genetic heart conditions have been found to be specifically established evidence and can also include other factors. Some of the families know but some do not know about the condition. Those who know it, they also know that there is 50 % chance for their next generation to inherit the problem.
The conditions are not of same time, they can vary depending upon the seriousness which may even be more serious than their ancestors had.
There is little evidence that any congenital heart disease is the cause of a single gene. It is found that more than one person with the heart defect in a family may pass on the disease to the next generation. Once it is the case that more than one person in the family has heart diseases, there is 50 % more chance that the new generation will have the disease by inheritance.
Exposures to environment
The reason you might have inherited your heart disease is most probably your mother had some unfavorable environment, such as some drug or some infection she was suffering from during her pregnancy and you were in her womb at that time. But never be worried that you will also have your child with heart disease.
Now what you do?
Any couple (with or without the history of inherited diseases) must consult a genetic counselor about the ‘ins and outs’ of congenital defects.
The role of a genetic counselor
Any child born with heart defect will make the family members to worry over the cause and find out the way out so that the problem does not descend on the next generation. Here is the role of a genetic counselor, first to answer your questions then to guide you about your starting your family and proceeding with your genetic counseling.
What is genetic counseling?
The goal of consulting a genetic counselor by any couple with heart disease is to be guided about the likelihood of any heart disease in the womb during pregnancy and how to start the family. The counselor's role is to guide the couple about the underlying causes of heart disease. The geneticist (in particular) and/or the genetic counselor will study your family history and proceed towards determining the cause at the back of it, specially the “would be mother”. A physical examination is necessary in this position. The patient’s blood test will say about the cause of the problem and the likelihood of the further problem. It is always advisable that both the partners should be genetically tested for heart disease. The couple must also disclose about any family history of hereditary diseases, (even in case) either of them or both of them may not be luckily affected.
Who should be the right candidate for counseling?
Genetic counseling is useful for either of the partner with heart disease. The affected person must know the cause of it or the partner with the heart disease must inquire about the possibility of causing the problem to the next generation. Since genetic counseling is needed for both the father and the mother, who has heart or any type of hereditary problem, in this situation both must seek the counseling. This is very much needed because there is the possibility that the couple may give birth to a diseased child.
Even though the father and mother might not be affected with the genetic problem but any other member from the ancestors (either from paternal or from maternal side) might be the cause of inheritance. Other than heart disease, learning problem, liver disease, psychiatric condition, deafness or any sort of birth defects in the family must be the subjects of counseling for the couple to start a family.
Best time for getting genetic counseling
Genetic counseling must be initiated before getting pregnant. Any prudent person, in this modern age, gets/fetches maximum possible information about the partner’s disease before starting any relation with him or her: that means before tying the nuptial knot. By this way one can be very much sure about any underlying risk he or she is already carrying. This prudence not only saves the couple from unwanted problem, but ties them peacefully. Otherwise of it are the results of divorces in many cases, when the hidden fact becomes known to the unaffected party.
The couple with any hereditary problem must not shy away from any special test recommended by the health providers during the gestation period, which is the last option of avoiding any permanent problem for the yet to be born baby.
In case any partner is having genetic condition, the genetic testing will be actually helpful to know about the fetus with or without the genetic problem. As already said, no research has proved that new generation / new offspring will surely inherit the problem, even though the possibility looms large. A fetal echo cardiogram (ECG) is a good option for the cases with the congenital heart problems.
Screening of infants for congenital heart disease
CCHD or Critical Congenital Heart Disease is responsible for the deaths of 27 % of infants each year in USA. This is found to be the most common factor for the congenital heart disease related death among the infants in USA. The earliest detection is always betters to get relieve.
Cost factor with the congenital heart disease screening
Among the remedies, Pulse oximetry screening is found to be the cheapest one, painless and most effective for the new-borns. The cost per baby is less than $4 and the time involved is only 45 seconds.
Procedure of Pulse oximetry screening
A Pulse oximetry screening device is used for screening the new born. The test, while undertaken, shines a light through the infant’s skin and measures the oxygen’s percentage in the blood. The AHA (American Heart Association) has a policy of asking all the new mothers to undertake this Pulse oximetry screening for their new-born.
Women with heart diseases
As far as heart disease is concerned, women are found to be more in numbers in the cases of heart disease than their opposite sex. Heart disease is considered as the deadliest of all types of cancers for which maximum number of women lose their lives. Hence a woman is expected to lead the campaign of eradicating the problem once for all.
Many women are coming forward for permanently finishing the problem from its root and so drawing the line and showing their positions with “Go Red”. This means enough is enough.
A case study and the important findings
A woman in USA discovered that pregnancy was the reason when she used to sweat heavily and experience difficulty in her breathing. The doctor also confirmed that the pregnancy was the reason for which the woman was suffering. After the delivery of the child, the problem persisted and was diagnosed that the problem of the woman was due to heart disease.
The story was not an isolated case, so is not uncommon. In many of the cases, women either remain unaware of the symptoms or fail to pay attention to the exact problem or in some cases they blame the problems for some other reasons. The examples may be pain in backside, neck or jaw. One must not mistake it to be the reason of little more stress or of extra gym. They are the signs of heart attacks “in waiting”.
Signs of a heart attack “in waiting”
Some of the heart attacks are not only intense but also sudden. These heart attacks are known as “movie heart attacks”. In this situation no one can guess about the happenings. However, most of the heart attacks start very slowly. They start with slight discomfort or mild pain. Even the affected people can’t be sure about the unusual happenings, so they wait too long till the problem hovers over and becomes beyond their control.
The signs of heart attacks
Ø Discomforts in chest: Most of the heart attacks start with the discomforts in the middle of the affected person’s chest. The problem may last for a few minutes. The person feels that the problem comes and goes away. The problems seem to be squeezing, fullness, uncomfortable pressure or pain.
Ø Discomforts encircling the upper body and its peripheral areas: Either in one or in both arms, stomach, back, neck or even jaw may get the feelings of discomfort or pain.
Ø Shortness of breath: sometimes without and sometimes with chest discomfort.
Ø Other signs: nausea or breaking out in a cold sweat and also light headed ness.
Ø The symptoms of discomfort or chest pain may be experienced by both men and women. But women are found to be experiencing more of the common symptoms than men. The symptoms are jaw pain, back pain, vomiting, nausea and shortness of breath.
Ø All must learn the signs: All these signs must be learnt by both men and women. That means you may not be sure about your problem, so always discuss your signs with an expert medical practitioner. In this condition, in this condition even the minutes matter. So faster the action, better the care of the patient. None should wait more than 5 minutes to call a doctor or visit a doctor. In case of any difficulty, the emergency numbers should be made use of. The emergency numbers are always helpful for such type of life & death cases. The heart specialists and other professionals in this department know how to restart the stopped heart.
Relation between Sex & Heart Disease
Patients with heart disease always remain worried for their heart condition and keep on questioning about each and every thing of their life. Some patients worry about their diets, some worry about their daily activities. Sometimes they feel whether the body is fit enough to deal with stress. A few remain concerned about their sex life, because of their heart disease. These people think that whether having sex is safe for their heart’s normal working.
Stabilization of your cardiovascular disease & your sex life
According to the latest findings of AHA (American Heart Association), if your cardiovascular or heart disease is stabilized, there will be no problem in your sex life.
Sexual activity is one of the most cherished activities for any creature; human being is not exceptional in this case, even though the person may have the heart defects.
Heart events / activities: - If one has heart disease, he or she will have chest pain or heart attack(s). But these may rarely happen during the time of sexual activity. The reason being sexual activity is usually for a short time. Many cases have been found that the couple refrain from having sex even though there was no problem of heart trouble for them in that moment. A few postpone the sex activity, fearing a heart problem. Also some cases are there, when the couple should have postponed their sexual activity for the sake of stabilizing their heart.
If one has unstable cardiovascular (heart) disease or the symptoms are severe, he or she must be treated and stabilized before going for sex.
These types of persons must consult their doctor before having sex, because sex life and heart disease are very closely linked with each other.
A doctor’s consultation is a must for the heart defect patients
No one should shy about talking to a doctor in connection with the sex life and heart disease.
A patient with cardiovascular disease must consult his or her doctor on the following points:-
· A doctor’s consultation before resuming your sexual activity is very important
· A patient with heart attack or heart failure should go for regular physical activity and cardiac rehabilitation for reducing sexual activity related complications.
· A person with heart defects must talk to her doctor before getting pregnant or starting any birth control measure.
· If one experiences sexual dysfunctions, it might be related to the cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety or any such issue. So a consultation with a competent doctor is very much necessary.
· If one is on medication related to any cardiovascular issue, he or she must not skip it, because skipping medication can hamper the person’s sexual drives or sex functions. This type of person must prioritize the heart issues.
· In most of the cases, the drugs used for erectile functions are often safe, but they should not be used, if the person is already on nitrate therapy, which is the reliever of chest pain due to the disease in the coronary artery. This therapy should not be used in between 24 to 48 hours of taking any medicine for erectile dysfunction.
· If a woman is on her post-menopausal age and has some cardiovascular disease, she must use estrogen which is either vaginally or tropically inserted for avoiding painful intercourse.
Many researches are under way for finding remedy of cardiovascular diseases among older adults and women.