Heart murmur is an extra and unusual sound heard during heart beat. Murmurs range from very faint to very loud sometimes. They sound like whooshing or swishing noise. Normal heart beats make a lup-dup or lub-dub sound. This is the sound of the heart valves closing as blood moves through the heart. Doctor can hear the sounds and heart murmur using a stethoscope. There are two types of heart murmurs– innocent (harmless) and abnormal.
Innocent heart murmurs are not caused by heart problems, innocent murmur doesn’t cause symptoms and you don’t need treatment. The murmur which is commonly heard in pregnancy is soft 2/6 ejection systolic murmur heard with greatest intensity at the left sterna edge which disappears in the early post partum period.
Hemodynamic changes in pregnancy begins early in the first trimester and evolve throughout the pregnancy and in the early post partum period changes in the plasma volume, peripheral resistance, heart rate, blood pressure collectively cause significant changes in the cardiac output throughout the course of pregnancy and labour.
Heart Murmur’s are quite common in Pregnant Women:
It is quite common for pregnant women to develop a heart murmur at sometimes in pregnancy usually between 15 and 25th week though they often go undetected. The murmurs are due to increase in the blood flow through the heart chambers usually not threatening and disappear after delivery. Women who are found to have murmurs may need consultations of physician or cardiologist who will monitor their heart through electrocardiogram and ultrasound.
Symptoms associated with murmurs in pregnant women:
Some pregnant women complain that talking on the phone leaves them breathless and also when they climb stairs, they feels the same some women may have symptoms of dizziness, black flashing in the eye sight constantly throughout the day sometimes heart beat in ears, wild sensation in left arm so she should talk with her obstetrician. Dizziness and black flashing can be due to low sugar also so should consult your obstetrician.
Diagnostic aspects for detecting a heart murmur:
Murmur can be heard with stethoscope.
Electrocardiogram is a simple test that detects and records the electric activity of heart. It shows how fast the heart is beating and it rhythms also records the strength and timing of electrical signal as they pass through each part of heart.
Electrocardiography: ECHO is a painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart. The test shows the size of shape of heart and how well your heart chambers and valves heart chambers and valves are working. Echo can show areas of poor blood flow to the heart and areas that are not contracting normally.
Treatment for Heart Murmurs in Pregnancy:
Heart Murmurs usually go away with pregnancy and do not require any intervention. You should consult your obstetrician and remain in follow-up. Obstetrician will tell what is needed so don’t.