Our pre-conception heart check is designed to identify underlying heart problems before you become pregnant, aiming for a safer outcome for you and your baby.

What is pre-conception heart check?

Symptoms of an underlying heart condition can lie dormant until during or after pregnancy. Our pre-conception heart check aims to diagnose undiagnosed conditions, highlight risks and manage symptoms before the high-risk pregnancy, until after birth.

Heart-related complications during pregnancy

Pregnancy can put extra stress on the heart as the body adapts to accommodate for the growing foetus. As a result, pregnant women with underlying heart conditions are considered high risk, as complications are more likely.

Complications include premature delivery, preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine) and irregular heartbeat. A high-risk pregnancy doesn’t mean you will experience complications, it just means you should be monitored more closely to avoid, manage or treat complications that could arise.

Who is our service for?

Our service is aimed at women who are planning a pregnancy, who may be at greater risk of heart-related complications. This includes women who:

  • have a history, or family history, of any heart problem
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes
  • have an increased BMI
  • have a history of high blood pressure or preeclampsia
  • have previously undergone chemotherapy, which can affect the heart
  • have an increased risk during pregnancy because of their age

Our service is also for men with inherited heart problems, which could be passed on to their children.

What will the pre-conception heart check involve?

We will put together a care plan depending on the individual needs of our patients. However, there are diagnostic tests which we commonly perform on each patient to rule out, or identify risks:

  • Echocardiogram (echo): A test which uses ultrasound to inspect your heart and its surrounding valves.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): A test which measures the electrical activity of the heart, including regularity of heart beats.

Echos and ECGs are the recommended diagnostic tests for initial pre-conception heart screening. These tests do not use radiation or chemicals and are safe to use during pregnancy.

From there, any specific tests or investigations will depend on the patient’s personal needs. Our multi-disciplinary team of cardio-obstetricians can provide end-to-end care based on your requirements.

Referrals to our pre-conception heart check

We accept referrals from:

  • general practitioners
  • self-referrals where the patient is self-funding, covered by private medical insurance or sponsored by their embassy

Explore our cardiology specialists

Our team of experts can provide the full range of care required to assess your cardiac health before you embark on a pregnancy. We also work with other medical and gynaecological consultants to ensure the safest pregnancy outcomes.