How Safe or Unsafe Aspirin In Pregnancy ? When Is Aspirin Advisable?
Created by Ambili S Kartha Updated on Jun 03, 2018
Due to work pressure and so many other health reasons we women are contracting headaches frequently. They are more prone to period pain as well. And for most of us, over-the-counter drugs are the easiest solution for pain. Most women reach for Aspirin when they have a headache. Aspirin works well to eradicate a headache, period pain, and muscle pains. No doubt. Pain is a part of pregnancy as well. But, is it safe to take aspirin during pregnancy? Read on.
What Is Aspirin?
Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug used medicinally to alleviate mild or chronic pain and to reduce fever and inflammation.
Is It Safe To Take Aspirin During Pregnancy?
No, it is not safe for pregnant women to take standard aspirin unless it is prescribed by the doctor. However, it is not that dangerous to take an aspirin occasionally during pregnancy. It will not harm you or your baby. But taking an aspirin whenever pain bothers you is a bad idea.
What Is The Safe Substitute For Aspirin During Pregnancy?
Acetaminophen (Tylenol or paracetamol) is a safer option for fever and pain during pregnancy.
What Is Baby Aspirin?
Baby aspirin is nothing but “low dosage” aspirin. Instead of 320 mg of acetylsalicylic acid in standard or “adult” aspirin, baby aspirin has 81 mg of acetylsalicylic acid. Even though adult aspirin is not preferred to take on a daily basis, a daily dose of baby aspirin benefits in treating several health issues related to heart and uterus.
What Is Baby Aspirin Therapy?
This therapy works for women who experience early-onset pre-eclampsia or have experienced eclampsia in one or more previous pregnancies. Since early-onset pre-eclampsia can happen any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Baby aspirin therapy aspirin needs to begin before the 20th week of gestation. Most often the therapy begins around the 12th week of pregnancy. The normal dosage is 75mg per day. The treatment generally stops two weeks prior to delivery to permit the blood clotting to fall back to normal.
What Is The Benefit Of Baby Aspirin In Pregnancy?
Even though aspirin is not a preferred medicine during pregnancy, some use of aspirin in pregnancy is imminent:
- Baby aspirin benefits women who pose a high risk for pre-eclampsia
- Baby aspirin is also tried in women who have had previous repeated miscarriages
Who Should Not Take Baby Aspirin?
Very rarely low dose aspirin can bring about some side effects in women who are allergic to aspirin. The following groups of women may not get the benefit from taking low-dose aspirin in pregnancy.
When To Stop Aspirin During Pregnancy?
First-time mothers, except if they are diagnosed to be at high risk of early onset pre-eclampsia
- Women who have already established pre-eclampsia
- Women who have a history of late-onset or mild pre-eclampsia
- Women who are allergic to aspirin
- Women who have a long-term bleeding or platelet disorder
- Women who are asthma sufferers as aspirin can sometimes make asthma worse
No risk is usually associated with the use of low dose aspirin at any stage of pregnancy. However, on the other hand, use of standard dose aspirin after 30 weeks of pregnancy should be avoided. For most expecting mothers, paracetamol is the recommended medicine to control pain or fever during pregnancy. If paracetamol does not have an impact on your pain, it is important that you should ask your doctor for a better option.
What Are The Side Effects Of Aspirin?
Aspirin in pregnancy can bring about several risks. Aspirin side effects include:
- Taking standard dose aspirin around the time of conception and in early pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage
- Taking standard dose aspirin during pregnancy might affect the baby's growth and may slightly increase the risk of a placental abruption
- Taking standard aspirin in the last trimester might delay labor and increase the risk of heart and lung problems in your newborn
- It also causes prolonged bleeding issues in both the mother and the newborn
- Researchers suggest a possible link between taking standard dose aspirin in early pregnancy and more than a few specific birth defects
- Taking standard dose aspirin after 30 weeks of pregnancy may cause oligohydramnios, a condition where there is too little amniotic fluid. Oligohydramnios can result in:
- Poor development of the baby’s lungs
- The under-developed urinary bladder of the baby
- The baby’s skull and leg bones being deformed
- Squashing of the umbilical cord, which paves the way for reduced blood flows from the mother to the baby in the womb
When Is Aspirin Advisable?
Taking higher doses of aspirin during pregnancy can be risky and can cause complications in pregnancy. However, it has been found to be safe under certain conditions.
- If expecting mother have pregnancy-induced hypertension
- If expecting mother has Hughes syndrome, an immune system disorder that brings about blood clots. Developing blood clots can lead to miscarriage. Low-dose aspirin therapy is safe and it helps to prevent the clots from forming and dramatically reduce the risk of miscarriage
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