Maria Sophocles: Advice for a woman with FH as she plans a pregnancy
As a person with FH and a provider who cares exclusively for women, there are some important things for a woman to understand about her cholesterol and her condition as she plans to become pregnant. Here are 5 things every woman should know about her FH:
1. Having FH does not mean you are unable to experience pregnancy. Women with FH can and should have the family they want.
2. Know your FH. Do you have vascular disease? Are your lipids controlled? Have your family members been tested?
You should know prior to pregnancy whether you already have evidence or likelihood of atherosclerosis. If you haven’t already done so, you should be checked for aortic stenosis.
Women with FH should have their pregnancy co-managed by OB and cardiology. Each condition (pregnancy and FH) affects the other in some ways and may qualify women for additional monitoring throughout and after pregnancy.
3. Don't check your lipid profile when you're pregnant!
Lipid levels rise during pregnancy and since elevated cholesterol is not treated during pregnancy, there is no reason to watch lipid levels during pregnancy. This may save you a bit of worry.
4. Stop statins three months prior to beginning to try to conceive. If you do conceive while on a statin, stop the medication and let your OB/GYN know you were on a statin at the time of conception.
5. Understand your options for medicines while pregnant and breastfeeding. If your doctor wants you to be on cholesterol-lowering medication during pregnancy and or breastfeeding, you can use a class of medication called resins which do not enter the bloodstream or get to the breast milk.
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