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High blood pressure and pregnancy

High blood pressure and pregnancy

High blood pressure - Into the future: Becoming pregnant

Q. Is having high blood pressure likely to affect my chances becoming pregnant?

A. Having high blood pressure does not mean that you cannot have children. Many women with high blood pressure have a normal pregnancy and deliver healthy babies.

But if you already have high blood pressure and you wish to have a baby, it is important to plan the pregnancy in discussion with your doctor, if at all possible. This is because the medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure may affect the development of the baby and your doctor may want to change your medicines to ones that won't affect the pregnancy. Also, you will need close monitoring when you become pregnant and your doctor will want to put arrangements in place.

If your pregnancy is unplanned, you should see your doctor as soon as possible, particularly if you are taking medicines to treat your high blood pressure.

Your GP will assess your treatment and may want to change or stop any blood pressure medicines you are taking. It is best to avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking atenolol (beta-blocker), ACE Inhibitors or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers as these medications can affect the development of your baby. Examples of ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers are in the table below.

Having high blood pressure can also affect men, in that the condition itself and some of the medications used to treat it can cause impotence and sexual problems. If this is happening to you don't suffer in silence. See your doctor about this because medicines can be changed and impotence can be successfully treated.

For more information on pregnancy and high blood pressure, please see the Pregnancy page on the main BPA web site.

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