Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid is a Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. Like every other NSAID, it is an over-the-counter prescription drug that reduces inflammation, fever and pain.
Aspirin can prevent the formation of blood clots. It is used in preventing and treating conditions like heart attacks and strokes. In Pregnancy, it is administered for prevention in those at high risk for preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a serious condition characterize by high blood pressure incidences after the 20th week of pregnancy or after giving birth (postpartum preeclampsia).
High blood pressure, commonly called hypertension, results from the persistent increase force of blood against the walls of the blood vessels. Hypertension has shown to be fatal during pregnancy, causing discomfort among affected pregnant women.
According to March of Dimes; Preeclampsia is a serious health problem for pregnant women around the world. It affects 2 to 8 percent of pregnancies worldwide (2 to 8 in 100). In the United States, it’s the cause of 15 percent (about 3 in 20) of premature births. Premature birth is birth that happens too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
African-American women are at higher risk for preeclampsia than other women. Researchers across Africa have seen preeclampsia occurring in about 10 % of pregnancies. With the right intervention, women with preeclampsia can have healthy babies. Where as it is left untreated, it can cause severe health problems for you and your baby.
Who Needs Aspirin Dose?
Aspirin isn’t recommended during pregnancy, only when associated with a medical condition. You need Aspirin if you’re at risk of pre-eclampsia.
This could be that;
- You’ve had preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy.
- You had preeclampsia along with other pregnancy complications.
- Multiple Pregnancies (twins or more).
- History of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or any autoimmune diseases.
- You are pregnant with your first baby, or your first after a decade.
- You are obesed.
- You have had a fertility treatment to help you get pregnant.
- 35 years or older
How Safe is Aspirin During Pregnancy
According to World Health Organization, the drug which is best absorbed orally, in low-doses could prevent pre-eclampsia in women at high risk of developing the condition.
However, it also states that it should be avoided during the last three (3) months of pregnancy, because of its harmful effects.
Some of the effects include rash, abdominal pain, upset stomach, heartburn, drowsiness, headache, and cramping. It is important to check with your doctor how to take aspirin, when to take aspirin and when to stop taking aspirin as recommendations may be differ depending on your condition medical history.