Everyday Medication Could Double Your Chance of Miscarriage


medicine cabinetOkay, don't freak out. Actually, freak out a little bit -- but just enough so that you can take what I'm about to tell you seriously without having a full-blown panic attack. I know, I know, easier said than done. Just do your best.

Anywho, there was this study ... dum dum DUM! No good news ever comes after the word "study," does it? No, it doesn't. Here's the bummer discovery made by this particular study: That women who took over-the-counter NSAIDs, which masquerade in your bathroom cabinet under the names ibuprofen and naproxen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), during their first trimester of pregnancy more than doubled their risk of having a miscarriage.

Relax, relax. I know what you're thinking: But I had that headache last week!! It's okay. Because a second study found the numbers to be significantly less scary than initially reported ...

Apparently, once researchers accounted for other risk factors in the women taking the NSAIDs, including diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus, and heart disease, they realized that the medication itself was only responsible for making women 2.4 times more likely to miscarry.

That's not nearly as terrifying as "more than double" now, is it?

The take-home message is still one worth hearing, I think, or at least one I would have wanted to know about if this discovery was made during either one of my pregnancies: If you can help it, don't take NSAIDs during your first trimester. No biggie. Better safe than sorry, right?

Plus, I have to admit that when I was newly pregnant (especially with my first), I felt so vulnerable that any little concrete measures I could take -- temporarily giving up coffee, sushi, wine, etc. -- gave me the illusion of being in some semblance of control, and that made me feel better. Not so vulnerable. Even if it was a placebo-effect kind of thing, and even if I sort of knew it at the time, it still worked.

Does avoiding potential pregnancy hazards, even if they're very slight, help you to feel less anxious?


Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

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nonmember avatar me

That's why I don't take ANYTHING while pregnant.

why is there vitamin water in the medicine cabinet?

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

When I was pregnant over six years ago I was told not to take ibuprofen during the first trimester and I was told again by a different midwife this time around. This is hardly new information, we've known for ages that pregnant women shouldn't take ibuprofen.

LKRachel LKRachel

I'm surprised Bc we have disagreed in the past but I second Rhondaveggie. This is not news. I was told I couldn't take Advil or aleve at all during my pregnancy (only one allowed was Tylenol) and I've heard it from not just my ob but several other moms/preggos as well.

jagam... jagamama0710

I knew about this too. The only thing I ever took while pregnant was tylenol a couple times. 

I lol'd @ "why is there vitamin water in the medicine cabinet?" I was wondering that too.

Pua Smith

I knew this. I don't take anything during pregnancy if I can help it, but sometimes during the first trimester I get headaches that are literally debilitating, but even then I try to avoid it.

nonmember avatar lys810

I knew not to take anything, and I didn't, when I was pregnant and the six months leading up to it- no meds of ANY type, over the counter or otherwise, no caffeine, blah blah blah, the whole list, and I miscarried anyway.
I've pretty much decided that next time I'm pregnant, I'm not going to be as vigilant- I know plenty of women that took ibuprofen or tylenol while pregnant, and their babies are fine. I avoided everything, and miscarried. I'm not completely sold that there's a link.

Melis... Melissa042807

I've always been told that Tylenol is the safest to take for pregnant women. Of course I have a paranoid researchaholic of a husband who immediately hit the internet the second we found out I was pregnant to find out all of this stuff. :-P

I pretty much avoid anything potentially hazardous during pregnancy. The biggest thing is that all my food be completely cooked. That's my compromise with my husband, the Pregnancy Food Drill Sergeant. I can indulge in any craving and he won't give me crap, as long as it's not raw or undercooked.

happy... happymama2D

While I would never knowingly take anything not needed when pregnant, (why risk it) I did take Motrin early in pregnancy with my first son.  I had completely given up on getting pregnant  and was getting what I thought were period cramps and I was taking Motrin for days before I realized I was pregnant.  Everything turned out fine.  On the flip side, I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy and I never took anything at all. 

nonmember avatar Amy

How is "2.4 times more likely to miscarry" any less scary than "more than double the risk"? Did I miss something, or are you just really bad at math?

jaccib88 jaccib88

As completely ridiculous as this sounds, but I have been friends with girls that were prescribed NARCOTIC PAIN RELIEVERS during their pregnancy...and the prescribing doctor knew that they were preggers!  For something as simple as a pulled tooth (which I wouldn't do while pregnant and most denstists won't do anything but a cleaning on a pregnant woman) to a sprained ankle...these doctors were handing out Lortabs like they were freakin candy!  Just seemed crazy to me...but the craziest part...is that the girls were taking them as prescribed!

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