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Is It Safe to Take Aspirin in Pregnancy?

By Jessica F. Black
Updated May 17, 2024
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Taking aspirin in pregnancy is usually not recommended because of the negative effects it may have on both the mother and the baby. There are certain cases in which aspirin in pregnancy has been prescribed, but every case is uniquely different and should be confirmed by a medical professional. Many physicians believe that taking a few aspirin accidentally before gaining knowledge on the effects is not detrimental, but habitual use of aspirin in pregnancy can lead to various complications.

The uncertainty surrounding the drug and its effects during pregnancy is one of the key factors in a doctor's recommendation to refrain from taking aspirin and other non-steroid based anti-inflammatory drugs until after birth. The complications that have been reported do not occur in all cases, but medical professionals emphasize prevention by avoiding certain medications during pregnancy. Aspirin in pregnancy may increase chances of miscarriage, reroute the baby's blood flow causing fetal complications, lead to placental abruption, stunt the growth of the baby, and many other severe difficulties.

In some cases due to a low blood flow to the placenta, which is often caused by a malformed uterus, a doctor may prescribe low-dose aspirin in pregnancy. Aspirin thins the blood and in specific cases is needed to keep the fetus healthy. Many doctors may also prescribe it to patients that are predisposed to eclampsia, a serious condition associated with high blood pressure and protein during maternity. The dosage most commonly prescribed is small amounts of baby aspirin because although the condition requires use of the medication, the body should not be overexposed to it.

A medical professional will often suggest preventative remedies if the reason for taking aspirin is headaches. As opposed to taking medication, the patient may try a few lifestyle changes to decrease the chance of headaches. Some of these remedies include eating healthier, partaking in relaxation exercises, attempting to eliminate stress, rest, and massages. There are available lists of medications that can be taken during pregnancy if need be, but most doctors will suggest natural remedies first.

A patient should always consult with her doctor when there are health concerns, medication questions, drastic medical changes, and pain during pregnancy. Some women may discover that foods, beverages, everyday medications, or stress are having negative effects on the pregnancy. Higher risk pregnancies often require frequent attention and can be further complicated by medications that have not been previously discussed with a physician.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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