Medications: What are the Pregnancy Risks?

Most medications come with an array of side effects that can range from mild to severe, but when a woman is TTC, she must take special considerations to factor in the safety of her child. Each medication can affect pregnancy and developing babies differently, so it’s important to discuss any and all medications that you take – either daily or just on occasion – with your ob-gyn. It’s wise to take these factors into consideration before TTC so that if you do become pregnant, you won’t have to worry about switching to a new medication after you’ve already conceived. Unfortunately, many medications in the U.S. (more than 90%) – even those approved by the FDA – have not been researched well enough to determine whether or not they pose a risk for birth defects. While some medications, such as certain ones used to treat acne, myeloma and other diseases, are known to cause birth defects, for many others, any potential risks are still unidentified.1 Moreover, it’s not just the medication itself that has to be considered, but also a number of other factors play a role. Potential risk factors include the amount taken, the time during the pregnancy in which the medication is taken, and how the medication may react in combination other medications and/or supplements. 2 Research is limited when it comes to the impacts of taking medicine while TTC. While the impact of both prescription and over-the-counter medications may vary depending on the time that you take them, it may be best to err on the side of caution: if you’re trying to become pregnant, and consult your ob-gyn about which medications are safe to take while TTC.   [avafootnote]

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  1. Center for Disease Control (2014 December 3). Medications and Pregnancy. Retrieved November 3, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/meds/
  2. Center for Disease Control; see above.

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