Aspirin for trying to conceive
For the average woman trying to conceive, Aspirin won’t make a difference in improving pregnancy outcome. However, there are rare cases where taking a baby aspirin a day may help maintain a pregnancy. Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple getting pregnant after trying for 12 months. Many couples who are unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant desperately search for alternative methods that may improve their chances of having a baby.
About 80% of couples with infertility have one or more of only these three problems:
- Sperm problems (e.g. not enough sperms)
- Ovulation Problems (e.g. no ovulation)
- Pelvic problems (e.g. inability of the fallopian tubes to transport egg and/or sperms)
So when you are having difficulties getting pregnant, your first goal should be to see a doctor find out whether you have any of these problems. Once one of these problems has been identified as being the culprit, it can then be treated differently.
Aspirin will not increase the sperm count, nor will it help improving ovulation, or open up clogged fallopian tubes, so the average woman does not improve her chances of conceiving if she takes a baby aspirin a day.
Is it a myth that aspirin will help you get you pregnant?
Let’s see where this suggestion comes from. Studies have shown that if you have a rare condition called ‘antiphopholipid antibody syndrome’ (APS), baby aspirin may improve your pregnancy outcome.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a so-called "autoimmune disorder" that is characterized by the presence of significant levels of antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood. It is also often associated with several other problems such as recurrent miscarriages (more than 2-3 pregnancy losses in a row), blood clots, or autoimmune low platelet counts.
In pregnancy, phospholipids act like a sort of glue that holds the dividing cells together and are necessary for the growth of the placenta into the wall of the uterus and they also filter nourishment from the mother's blood to the baby, and in turn, filter the baby's waste back through the placenta.
If a woman carries these antibodies that may indicate that this will interrupt the ability of the phospholipids to do their job, putting the woman at risk for miscarriage, second trimester loss, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and preeclampsia. And taking a baby aspirin may prevent this from happening.
So how often is APS responsible for a miscarriage?
About 50-60% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and most miscarriages are due to abnormalities in the growth of the embryo or fetus. For example, up to 60% of spontaneous abortions have abnormal chromosomes. Only 1-2 % of women have a recurrent miscarriage. And less than 10% of these 1-2 % of women with recurrent pregnancy loss have Antiphospholipid Syndrome as a cause for their pregnancy loss, so it’s a rare condition.
Some doctors believe that antiphospholipid antibodies are associated with certain forms of infertility, specifically those associated with miscarriages. So they treat women with recurrent losses with low dose baby aspirin or heparin plus low dose aspirin (80 to 100 mg. per day). In addition, some studies have shown that pregnancy is improved in women who have IVF and take a baby aspirin a day.
While there are some women who may benefit from taking aspirin, for the average women trying to get pregnant, baby aspirin will not improve her chances of getting pregnant.
If you have difficulties getting pregnant, you should see your doctor and discuss which steps to take to find out the cause of your problems.
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