California researchers report taking painkillers during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which include aspirin and ibuprofen, are some of the most widely used drugs and are often used by pregnant women.
Doctors interviewed 1,055 pregnant women immediately after confirmation of their pregnancy. The participants were asked questions about their drug use since they became pregnant, reproductive history, and potential risk factors for miscarriage.
The use of NSAIDs during pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriage by 80 percent. The risk for miscarriage was especially high if the NSAIDs were taken around the time of conception or were used regularly for longer than a week.
NSAIDs work by suppressing production of prostaglandins, which are fatty acids needed for successful implantation of an embryo in the womb. Researchers note these findings need further confirmation, but advise, "It may be prudent for physicians and women who are planning to be pregnant to be aware of this potential risk and avoid using NSAIDs around conception."