A review has suggested that women who take a low-dose tablet of aspirin daily to prevent blood clotting, have a reduced risk of pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia.
The review, of 31 studies involving more than 32,000 women, found that taking aspirin had a 10 percent reduced rate of complications.
And while doctors find the results of the review encouraging, they insist that women need to be cautious, especially as aspirin appears to slightly increase the risk of hemorrhage following delivery.
Based on this, Lisa Askie at the University of Sydney in Australia and colleagues now think that aspirin might benefit only a small subset of women, such as those who suffered pre-eclampsia during previous pregnancies.
Pre-eclampsia is characterized by an increase in blood pressure and excessive amounts of protein in the mother's urine, and can prove fatal to mother and baby.
Askie believes anti-clotting drugs protect pregnant women by reducing inflammation or preventing blood clots from forming.
"Whilst the benefits of anti-clotting therapy are modest, they are important as, if given to women at risk of pre-eclampsia they could potentially result in many thousands less women who experience a bad pregnancy outcome," New Scientist quoted Askie, as saying.
"Particularly for women at high risk of pre-eclampsia, a more widespread use of anti-platelet [anti-clotting] agents may be worthwhile," she added.
The review is published in the Lancet.