Ibuprofen doubles risk of miscarriage

Women who take ibuprofen during pregnancy are twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage

(Image credit: Rex Features)

Women who take ibuprofen during pregnancy are twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage

A study of 4,700 women who had suffered miscarriages has revealed the damaging implications of taking painkillers during pregnancy. Of the women studied, 7.5 per cent had taken some form of pain relief.

The findings support NHS advice that mothers-to-be who suffer pain or experience fever-like symptoms should stick to paracetamol rather than ibrupforen, particularly in the first and final thirds of their pregnancies.

Dr Virginia Beckett of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns women that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) during pregnancy does increase the probability of miscarriage, but the risk is still very low.

Published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers from the University of Montreal say: 'Women who were exposed to any type and dosage of non-asprin NSAIDs during early pregnancy were more likely to have a spontaneous abortion.

'Given that the use of non-aspirin NSAIDs during early pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of major congenital malformations, and that our results suggest a class effect on the risk of clinically detected spontaneous abortion, non-aspirin NSAIDs should be used with caution during pregnancy.'

Almost one fifth of pregnancies end in miscarriages - with the highest risk in the first few weeks when women may not be aware that they are expecting.

Janet Fyle from the Royal Collge of Midwives says: 'We need to advise women, as midwives often do, to avoid buying over the counter medication for pain relief.'