January 14

Can You Take Ibuprofen When Pregnant in the First Trimester?

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Can you take Ibuprofen when pregnant in the first trimester? Well, pregnant women are normally advised against taking Ibuprofen. Experts recommend paracetamol as a safer alternative during pregnancy. 

It’s especially important to avoid Ibuprofen in the first and third trimester, unless your doctor prescribes it. If you’ve already taken Ibuprofen, fear not. A one-off dose any time during pregnancy won’t harm you or your child. Taking Ibuprofen more than once while your pregnant would though. So it’s best to steer clear of it. 

Why Ibuprofen is Unsafe During Pregnancy

The excitement of pregnancy can be tempered by back pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, and even more regular headaches. As such, it might be tempting to look for something more powerful than paracetamol. This is where Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication which acts as a painkiller, comes in.

Did you know that Ibuprofen can potentially harm your baby if you’re pregnant?

There are numerous studies pointing to possible harm—the latest of which suggests Ibuprofen in the first trimester can affect the future fertility of a baby girl—but experts concur that more research is required.

If possible, it’s best to not use this medicine while you’re pregnant. If you’re in pain, for instance, back pain, you can take paracetamol. If it doesn’t work, then you should talk to your physician about an alternative. 

doctor and pregnant woman

Experts recommend avoiding Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in the first six months of pregnancy, unless their potential benefit is greater than the possible risk to the developing baby. You should never use any types of NSAIDs for medication during trimester three unless it’s absolutely needed and your doctor advises you to.

During the first trimester (week 1-13), you should avoid using Ibuprofen because of the following reasons:

  • It can make miscarriage more likely to occur.
  • Your baby might develop some birth defects, such as a heart defect, a cleft palate, or defects in the abdominal wall.
  • According to the latest (2018) study, if you kept on taking Ibuprofen while pregnant and you gave birth to a baby girl, it may cause a “drastic loss” of germ cells that make the follicles which promote the development of a girl’s eggs.

Can Ibuprofen Cause Miscarriage?

It’s not clear whether using Ibuprofen in the first trimester raises the risk of a miscarriage. Research has shown that women who use NSAIDs during pregnancy are at higher risk of having a miscarriage than those who don’t. But some studies that have investigated Ibuprofen independently  from other NSAIDs revealed no connection at all with miscarriage.

What If I’ve Already Taken Ibuprofen?

If you’ve already had an intake of Ibuprofen either before you read about its risks or before you realized you were pregnant, chill out. A one-off dose won’t harm your child, even if you used it after week 30. The severe and scary Ibuprofen side effects tend to happen with chronic, repeated use of the drug.

If you took Advil for headache a few days ago and you’re more than 30 weeks pregnant, don’t worry. Your tot will be fine.

Avoiding Ibuprofen During Pregnancy

Paracetamol is considered the safest painkiller during pregnancy, but it might be ineffective for certain kinds of pain. If you’ve already tried everything but you’re still not okay, talk to your midwife or doctor about what you can take instead. Whichever medication you take, always use the lowest dose possible for the shortest possible time.  

If you have concerns about taking any medication during pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor, pharmacist or midwife first.


Tags

first trimester, pregnancy concerns, pregnancy safety


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