Taking aspirin during pregnancy is generally not recommended, but there are always exceptions. Pregnancy is often accompanied by pain, and not just the end result in the labor ward! We get headaches, back aches, muscle pain as our ligaments expand and a variety of other low grade pain that just seems like one more thing to deal with.
Can I Take Aspirin During Pregnancy? Answer: Only if your Doctor recommends this.
Aspirin is a blood thinner, and when we are pregnant our blood volume increases. It interferes with your body’s ability to clot, and while it is not an extreme side effect – it is an over the counter medicine used by many every day – it can still have adverse side effects on you and your little one.
Side Effects of Aspirin When Pregnant
Aspirin interferes with your blood’s clotting action. Because of this, if you take aspirin while pregnant there is a chance that it can contribute to maternal and fetal bleeding. It is also thought that aspirin may result in the premature closure of a vessel in your baby’s heart leading to pulmonary hypertension. While there are many women who take an aspirin for pain during pregnancy with no ill effects, there is always a chance, albeit unlikely, that aspirin will affect you or your fetus.
Sometimes low-dose aspirin therapy is prescribed to pregnant women by their doctor. Your doctor will keep a close eye on you and your progress if this is the case. Your doctor will assess any risks and discuss them with you in detail.
Links Between Aspirin And Miscarriage
While the causes for miscarriage are many, there is a theory that taking aspirin very early in your pregnancy can potentially increase your chances of miscarriage. Other studies indicate that taking an aspirin at the time of conception can also affect the possibility of a miscarriage. It is very difficult to determine, but the issues have been raised and so pregnant mom’s to be should be aware of the possibilities.
Potential Side Effects Of Aspirin When Pregnant
Without intending to start off mass panic, there are a few risks which have been linked to full strength aspirin when pregnant that should be mentioned. Some researchers believe that the growth rate of a fetus is affected by aspirin, remember that everything you take and is absorbed into your bloodstream passes into your baby through your placenta. There is also a slight increase of placental abruption associated with aspirin.
If you take aspiring just before you go into labor it may affect your blood – aspirin reduces clotting and you may have bleeding complications for you or your newborn. You may also potentially delay your labor and increase a risk of heart and lung conditions in your little one.
If you need to take a pain reliever during pregnancy, ask your health care provider about the options. He or she might approve occasional use of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). So, except in a few cases, it’s best to avoid aspirin altogether during this time.
It should also be mentioned that some doctors and researchers believe that a low dose aspirin will not harm a woman throughout her pregnancy.
Possible Reasons Your Doctor May Prescribe Aspirin When You’re Pregnant
If you already have a condition which requires you to take aspirin, your caregiver may require you to continue taking it throughout your pregnancy. You will be closely monitored throughout your pregnancy if you are taking any type of medication including aspirin. Women who have a history of blood clots or other pregnancy problems may be prescribed low dose aspirin or those women who have antiphospholipid syndrome, the presence of certain antibodies in their blood. It is believed by some researchers that women who are at high risk for preeclampsia can benefit from taking a low dose aspirin, although many practitioners are still divided on the correct dose and timing of the treatment. Women who have severe diabetes or kidney disease and are pregnant may also be advised by their health care practitioner to take a low dose aspirin while they are pregnant. Again, there are differing opinions on the merits of prescribing low dose aspirin to pregnant women.
What To Look Out For When You Are Pregnant
Unless your health care professional has prescribed it, stay away from aspirin altogether while you are pregnant. You should also be on the look out for other medications which contain aspirin or salicylates. Other drugs you should take care with are non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) such as ibuprofin, naproxen and ketoprofen. These are the drugs like Advil, Motrin, Aleve and Orudis which you get from your local drug store and have similar effects to aspirin. Check all of your labels on any over the counter medication and if you are at all confused or worried check with your pharmacist or doctor, you will find that they will be happy to help explain.
What Can I Take When Pregnant?
If you are suffering from pain when you are pregnant you will find that most often Tylenol is recommended as safe as long as you take it in accordance with the instructions on the label. If you are concerned about pain or pain killers while you are pregnant the best person to consult is your doctor, they will be able to guide you and recommend medication which is suitable. If you are pregnant and suffering from stress or headaches, one way to soothe it instead of painkillers is to indulge in a little anti-stress activity and you may find that your tension melts away and your head ache along with it.
What Exactly is Aspirin and How Does It Work?
Aspirin is a drug which is in the family of chemicals known as salicylates. As early as the 5th century BC it was noted that the bitter powder extracted from the bark of the willow tree was known to ease agues, that’s fevers with aches to you and I … Scientists continued to investigate and experiment with will bark powder and discovered that its chemical composition included salicin. By the 1800′s scientists had developed a drug which was given to those suffering from arthritis and fever in high doses but it was extremely hard on the stomach lining, causing internal bleeding in some cases. By 1899 scientists had developed aspirin – a drug which was easier on the stomach than the previous salicylic acid and while it was still not exactly determined how it worked, the important thing was that it did work.
In the early 1970′s a British scientist, John Vane, demonstrated how aspirin worked and won a Nobel Prize. It was explained that pain is controlled by the brain. When you get pain, for example if you hit your thumb with a hammer, there are nerve endings in your thumb which register heat, vibration and nasty shocks like being hit with a hammer. These nerve endings also release a chemical, prostaglandins, which speed up and amplify the process of sending a message to your brain. There is also an enzyme in your body which makes the prostagladins, and its this enzyme which aspirin sticks to. If aspirin is stuck to this enzyme, the enzyme can’t work. If it can’t make prostaglandins then there are less pain signals traveling up to your brain. Aspirin doesn’t stop the problem, but it masks the pain signals heading to your brain and allow you pain relief.