Contraceptive counselling should begin early in females with heart disease, preferably directly after the start of menstruation. In coming to a decision about the method of contraception, the following issues should be considered: (i) the risk of pregnancy for the mother and the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy; (ii) the risks of the contraceptive method; (iii) failure rates; (iv) the non-contraceptive benefits; (v) the availability; (vi) the individual's preferences; (vii) protection against infection; and (viii) costs. In some women with heart disease, the issues may be complex and require the input of both a cardiologist and an obstetrician (or other feto-maternal expert) to identify the optimal approach. No studies have been performed in women with heart disease to investigate the relative risks and benefits of different contraceptive methods.
Keywords: Cardiovascular; Contraception; Heart disease; Pregnancy.
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