Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral Valve Prolapse, or MVP, is a type of heart disease in which the left valve is unable to open and close properly. Although the cause is unknown, it is the most common heart abnormality among women, with as many as 10% having some form of MVP. MVP is generally harmless and most people don’t experience any symptoms at all.

I myself began experiencing unusual symptoms just last year. I occasionally had chest pains, where I was unable to take in a deep breath without feeling discomfort followed by a sharp pain. More commonly, I felt as though I was unable to get a good amount of air into my lungs. My heart would also occasionally beat out of rhythm and I experienced intense heart palpitations. I went to see my PCP and she performed an echocardiogram and had me wear an ECG for 24 hours. She explained that the results and my symptoms confirmed I had MVP with slight regurgitation. No one wants to be told they have any type of abnormality, no matter how slight, but she assured me it was very common and something I could not have prevented. She explained that as long as I drink a lot of water, keep a healthy diet and exercise, I could control my symptoms.

If you are experiencing an ongoing symptom that you are unfamiliar with, it is always important to consult your doctor about it. I would rather have it be nothing than something. My mind always immediately goes to “what did I eat?” or “what did I do wrong?”, but sometimes it is an issue that we have no control over. As women, it is imperative that we keep our hearts healthy and strong!