No, pregnancy is not believed to cause PH.
In pregnancy, most healthy women will experience some degrees of difficulty breathing, fatigue, and swelling of feet or ankles. This is often perfectly normal and does not necessarily mean you have PH.
Pregnancy increases the risk of blood clots in the lung (also known as pulmonary embolism) which can lead to PH.
In women who already have certain types of PH, they may first notice symptoms of PH during pregnancy. This includes:
- IPAH (previously known as PPH)
- PAH associated with defects of the heart present at birth (also known as congenital heart disease)
- PH due to pulmonary embolism
In women already diagnosed with PH, pregnancy can be extremely dangerous. PH often worsens during the pregnancy, and often leads to the death of the mother. It is strongly recommended that women with PH not become pregnant.