Can Heart Disease Affect You or Your Future Baby?

Do you have pain in your neck or back regularly? How about shortness of breath or feeling sweaty without cause to? Many of us, particularly those who are pregnant or trying to become so, attribute those symptoms to something like hormones or stress.

But, those are all common symptoms of heart disease, and because they can be regular occurrences in our daily lives, we don’t always realize it. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer. Critical Congenital Heart Disease also accounts for more than a quarter of infant deaths caused by birth defects. So while you might not think you are at risk for heart disease, or maybe you’re mostly focused on other things in your life, like conceiving a baby, heart health is something to pay attention to.

Statistics to Know

  • Heart disease affects women of all ages, not only the elderly

  • For younger women, birth control pills and smoking combined can increase heart disease risk by 20 percent

  • Even if you are active and healthy, things like high cholesterol, smoking, and poor eating habits can affect your heart at any age

  • Chest pain isn’t the main symptom of a heart attack in women. Instead, you’ll feel shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain

  • 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease

  • Since 1984, more women than men have died of heart disease, or about one in three women

While we focus on infertility needs, we also care about and support the many other health issues women face. As we meet with patients to explore fertility options, we are also working hard to educate women of all ages to learn about the risks and how to avoid heart disease. For more information on how it can affect you during conception, give us a call at 717-747-3099 or click here schedule an appointment.


Dr. Melanie Ochalski

P.S. There are many forms of infertility treatments. Find out more here, and make sure your heart is healthy enough to use any you might need to!

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