High Blood Pressure and Getting Pregnant?

Can high blood pressure affect my chances of getting pregnant?
profile picture of Jackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
ByJackie Gutmann, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Philadelphia
Fertility Specialist
Jan 2017
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Living with chronic hypertension (aka high blood pressure) can be a challenge, especially if you’re thinking about starting a family. The good news is that there’s really no reason you can’t get pregnant. The biggest hiccup, though, is if your partner is the one taking an antihypertensive medication, since it can affect how well and for how long he can maintain an erection and achieve ejaculation. But all your plumbing should continue to work fine.

However, managing your pregnancy will take a little extra work on your part. For starters, you’ll need to take a look at the types of medication you’re on to manage your blood pressure. Certain high blood pressure meds (like beta-blockers) are usually okay, but others, including ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, are a no-go because they can be dangerous to you and your developing baby. Talk to a cardiologist before you start to get too busy — she can help give you the all-clear and make sure your condition is well controlled. Women with hypertension have a 25 percent higher risk of developing  preeclampsia (a dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure along with high-protein secretions in the urine), along with some other serious complications for both you and your baby. But on the bright side, if you keep a close eye on your blood pressure, and your doctors are fully informed, you should be able to not only get pregnant but also deliver a healthy and happy baby through a full term.
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