When it comes to pregnancy, everyone wants to play safe. Be it the diet or the medications, things are planned as per the doctor's advice to avert complications that may trigger deleterious consequences for the mother or the baby or both. There has always been a raging debate regarding the use of Aspirin during pregnancy. Most doctors are of the opinion that Aspirin can pose complications in the pregnancy and is best left avoided unless there are health conditions that require the use of Aspirin (usually in a small dose, also known as Baby Aspirin of around 75 mg- 300 mg).
Consequences of using Aspirin during pregnancy without the doctor's advice
A Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug or NSAID, Aspirin, also termed as Acetylsalicylic Acid provides relief from a plethora of health problems including inflammation, headache or body pain (usually the minor ones). There is nothing unusual in experiencing dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting (morning sickness) during pregnancy. Many women retort to their trusted saviour- Aspirin, to get some relief from a headache or nausea. However, using Aspirin on a regular basis (standard dose which can come up to 4 gm of Aspirin) can spell doom for the mother and the baby.
- Some research and scientific studies suggest that using Aspirin during the early stages of pregnancy (without the doctor's recommendation) can interfere with the growth and development of the fetus triggering congenital birth defects.
- The use of higher doses of Aspirin is also found to play a catalytic role increasing the chances of a miscarriage.
- The use of Aspirin, especially during the later stages of pregnancy (third trimester) can result in the Ductus Arteriosus or the Ductus Botalli (the blood vessel that connects the proximal descending aorta to the main pulmonary artery) in the fetus to close prematurely giving rise to problems in the fetal heart or lungs. In extreme cases, the problem can even lead to fetal death.
- In some instances, the use of Aspirin might even trigger severe bleeding in the infant’s brain with deleterious consequences.
- Prolonged use of Aspirin during the pregnancy can also cause a delay in the labour.
In spite of the demerits, Aspirin used in small dose or as per the doctor's advice may be a blessing for pregnant women dealing with health conditions such as Diabetes, Preeclampsia, and Kidney ailments.
Aspirin is also known to work as a blood thinner and thus may prove to be helpful in women with Hughes syndrome (also referred to as Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Hughes Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that makes the affected person susceptible to the formation of blood clots).
However, even with these merits, it may not be a wise idea to use Aspirin during pregnancy unless you the requirement is urgent to the core. Also remember, be it Aspirin or any other medicines, self-medication is a big No during pregnancy. Your attending physician should be informed about your choice of medicines so that the mother and the baby are both able to enjoy good health.