The title says it all: Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), commonly known as Advil, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, Celebrex, Bayer, Midol and various other pain relievers (click here for a comprehensive list) increases the risk of a miscarriage.
More specifically, any use of NSAIDs around the time of conception increases the risk of suffering a miscarriage during the first eight weeks, according to research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The miscarriage risk is significant, per the study: four times the risk compared to women who either used no pain relievers or used a non-NSAID such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol). These findings were noted after comparing three groups of pregnant women: 241 who took NSAIDs around the time of conception, 391 who took acetaminophen and 465 who took neither medication type. Women in the NSAID group suffered miscarriages 24 percent of the time during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The risk was significantly lower (and essentially equivalent) in women who took acetaminophen (16 percent) or no pain relievers (17 percent).
While any NSAID use increased miscarriage risk, the risk was higher in women who took NSAIDs for a longer duration (two weeks or more) compared to women who took them for a shorter duration. The authors are quick to point out that their study does not necessarily prove that NSAID use causes miscarriage, just that miscarriage rates were higher in women who used NSAIDs … but are you willing to take that risk, knowing what you now know?
The message is clear: All women should ask their doctor about medication use (even over-the-counter meds you can get without a prescription, which many NSAIDs are) before, during and after pregnancy to ensure their health and the health of their child isn’t compromised.