Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drug Effect on Pregnancy and Fertility

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDS, are the most commonly used over the counter pain medications. They are marketed under brand names such as aspirin, ibuprofen,advil, aleve and many others. These medications work by reducing the production of prostaglandins in our bodies, therefore, reducing cramps, heavy bleeding, and ovulation pains. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also used for headaches, sports injuries, and many other types of pain.

The use of NSAIDS in pregnancy have been restricted. It is well established that NSAID use in the third trimester of pregnancy significantly prohibits fetal urine production and amniotic fluid volume. It also increases the risk of premature constriction of the ductus arteriosus leading to fetal heart failure and even death.

Recent research from Kaiser Permanente has found more bad news. Use of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the first trimester also increases the rate of miscarriage. NSAIDS prohibit prostaglandin production essential to successful implantation of the embryo. Abnormal implantation increases the risk of miscarriage. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs effect on the risk of miscarriage has been shown to be dose-related. The higher the frequency and the dosage the higher the risk of miscarriage. Women at lower body mass index may be most vulnerable to this effect.

My policy in pregnancy and otherwise has been the least use of medication possible. History and experience have shown that many of the medications we use and take their safety for granted will be found to be harmful in ways we never imagine today. Natural remedies and holistic approaches are always best when possible.