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  1. Osteen, Kathryn A. PhD, RN
  2. Beal, Claudia C. PhD, RN


The purpose of this article was to examine reproductive health issues for women with congenital structural abnormalities of the heart. Because of surgical advances and innovations in healthcare, infants with congenital heart disease often live now into adulthood. Women with congenital heart disease have reported the desire to have children but expressed concern about fertility and the health consequences of pregnancy. Although many women with congenital heart disease are able to give birth without adverse outcomes, life-threatening complications can occur. Best practices for the care of women with congenital heart disease are grounded in an understanding of how cardiac defects may affect pregnancy and in communicating the implications of cardiac defects for reproductive health to support informed decision making.