Researchers from the Clevelend Clinic said about 50 percent of pregnant women experience some type of heart rhythm irregularity and include common conditions.
Most of these cases do not require medical intervention and does not cause damage, but in certain cases can affect the body and also the baby. Although the exact cause is not clear, but there are several factors that can contribute to this condition.
It is estimated that hormonal changes in the body is increased levels of estrogen and another hormone called beta-human chorionic gonadotropin contribute.
This condition can affect the action of cardiac ion channels that allow minerals sodium, calcium and potassium in and out of cells to control heart rate.
During pregnancy blood volume increases to meet the need of oxygen for the mother and baby, increased blood volume gives extra pressure on the heart and thus affects the heart rate, as quoted from Livestrong
There are several types of irregular heartbeat that occurs in pregnant women are:
1. Palpitations, the sensation that feels like a racing heartbeat, palpitations or beats than usual
2. Supraventicular tachycardia (SVT), which is a broad term that applies when the heart beats faster than usual. This condition is more dangerous than palpitation and might require treatment.
3. Atrial fibrillation, the heart beats irregularly and rapidly, but rarely experienced during pregnancy. Usually experienced in pregnant women who have congenital heart disease or hyperthyroidism before pregnancy.
If pregnant women experience irregular heartbeat, the doctor will look for the underlying cause. If no medical cause, treatment and procedures performed were resting vagal maneuvers (applying ice to the face, massaging the carotid artery as well as breathing techniques) to slow the heart rate.
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