A new study finds that taking aspirin can significantly reduce the risk that women with high-risk pregnancies will develop preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia occurs in approximately 4% of pregnancies in the United States. It is one of the most hazardous complications of pregnancy. Now new research shows that global adoption of aspirin as a preventative remedy for preeclampsia could benefit millions of mothers and babies.
Preeclampsia prevents blood vessels in the placenta from properly developing, causing dangerously restricted blood flows between the mother and her baby. This condition frequently leads to preterm delivery. The only cure for preeclampsia is the actual delivery of the baby.
Preeclampsia presents the mother and her medical team with a difficult task. The baby needs more time in the womb to fully develop, while the mother needs to avoid the risks to both the baby and herself.
Can aspirin a day help to keep preeclampsia away?
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that taking low-dose aspirin can reduce the chance of developing preeclampsia. This conclusion has been confirmed by research performed by King’s College London and the University of Exeter. The study included 1,776 women whose backgrounds showed a high risk of preeclampsia. Some of them were given 150 mg of aspirin daily, starting at 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy and continuing through the 36th week of pregnancy, while the others were given a placebo.
How effective is aspirin in preventing preeclampsia?
The group of women who took aspirin developed 82% fewer cases of early preeclampsia (which results in delivering the baby before 36 weeks), and a 62% reduction in preterm preeclampsia (which results in delivery before 37 weeks).
But aren’t we NOT supposed to take aspirin during pregnancy?
Generally speaking, using aspirin during pregnancy can be quite risky, for both mother and child. However, after balancing the risks posed by taking aspirin during pregnancy against the dangers presented by preeclampsia, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently recommends carefully monitored low-dose usage of aspirin for pregnant women who are at high-risk of developing preeclampsia.
This is good news. I suggest that if you are at risk, talk to your doctor about whether aspirin could help you. The benefits of using low-dose aspirin do appear to far outweigh the risks.
As always, let me know what you think! Thaïs
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