Pregnancy loss due to the use of certain drugs is common among women. Health professionals suggest some alternatives to avoid any issues in conception and pregnancy. A recent study suggests that the use of opioids can lead to problems in conception. It can also delay pregnancy in women.
The study was published in the journal Epidemiology.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The findings of this study show that the use of opioid drugs during the early stages of pregnancy can lead to pregnancy loss.
Kerry Flannagan, Ph.D. is the senior author of this study. She is doing her postdoctoral research at the Division of Intramural Population Health Research, NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Dr. Flannagan said that the women trying to conceive a child or if they are pregnant should consider the side effects of opioids. The physicians should also be aware that opioid use can cause problems in conception for them or even lead to the loss of a child.
The research mainly considered the use of prescription opioids such as aspirin. The trial of Effects of Aspirin in Gestation and Reproduction (EAGeR) analyzed the effect of a minimum dose of aspirin in preventing the loss of pregnancy.
The participants in this trial included women ranging from 18 to 40 years old. All of these women previously suffered from a pregnancy loss once or twice.
During the trial, the researchers tracked the progress of all the participants for a six months period. They analyzed if any woman became pregnant or not during this cycle. Throughout the monthly cycles, the participants gave urine samples to detect the opioids.
The study included 1,228 women in total. 18 percent of the participants used prescription opioids when they were trying for conception. Also, 5% of pregnant women previously used opioids during the early period of pregnancy.
The findings of this research showed that the use of opioids before pregnancy led to a 29% decreased possibility of becoming pregnant. The data are compared to those women who did not take any opioids during their monthly cycle.
The researchers also considered women who got pregnant. The data showed that the women who took opioids before conception had a 1.5 times greater chance of pregnancy loss. Also, the participants who used opioids during pregnancy week 4 to 8 had a 2.5 times higher chance of miscarriage. This data compared to those women who got pregnant but did not use opioids.
The authors of the study mentioned that they need extensive research on the subject. Further research will reveal the effect of the use of opioids on fertility and pregnancy. They also said that the women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid the use of opioids until further research.
The authors also called for the physicians to avoid prescribing opioids to pregnant women. This study also suggests that the women who are using artificial methods of conception should avoid taking prescribed opioids to relieve the pain in medical procedures.