Aspirin and Pregnancy
Aspirin is an NSAID medication most commonly used to treat muscle pain and headaches. It is also often used to treat fevers as well as other flu symptoms. Aspirin's pain reducing qualities arise from its ability to reduce the body's production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the hormones which are responsible for sending pain messages to the brain and also contribute towards tissue swelling. Aspirin is available without a prescription and is one of the most commonly consumed medications in the world. Due to its low price as well as availability many pregnant women wonder if it is safe to take aspirin while they are pregnant and what risks may result from the taking of aspirin during a pregnancy.
There are many reasons one may wish to take aspirin while pregnant. One of the main reasons for wanting pain relief during pregnancy is due to the strain carrying a baby can put on muscles throughout the body. The extra weight of the baby often puts excessive strain on the lower back as well as the feet and legs. Before using pain medications for the treatment of muscle pain caused by pregnancy it is advisable to try alternate forms of therapy. Some of these may include deep tissue massages and stretching. Another reason many women seek pain relief during pregnancy is due to headaches. There are many factors which can cause a headache to occur during pregnancy. It is important to ensure that dehydration is not the cause of the headache before using a pain medication such as aspirin for relief.
Aspirin while pregnant
Generally it is not advised to take any medications while pregnant unless they are absolutely necessary. Aspirin is not classified as a high risk medication by the FDA for taking during pregnancy. However, due to aspirin's blood thinning qualities it should not be taken unless the pros outweigh the cons. The lowest dose possible should always be taken. Women who are pregnant should start with 81mg tablets and only take more aspirin if it is absolutely necessary. In some instances a doctor may recommend a low dose of aspirin be taken for the entirety of the pregnancy but this should only be done under close supervision by medical professionals.
Aspirin during the third trimester
While aspirin is considered to be considerably safe for the first parts of pregnancy it can be extremely dangerous during the third trimester. If aspirin is taken during the third trimester there is a likelihood of birth defects developing. These complications arise when aspirin's blood thinning qualities interfere with the development of the fetus's cardiovascular system. This can lead to high blood pressure for the baby when it is born. Another risk associated with taking aspirin after the third trimester is an increased chance of bleeding in the uterus of the mother. High doses of aspirin have also been linked to miscarriages. Taking aspirin a week before the baby is born can lead to excessive loss of blood for the mother due to aspirin's anticoagulant properties. For these reasons aspirin should be avoided unless directed by a medical professional after the third trimester of a pregnancy.