(Natural News) According to researchers, women who took antibiotics during the early stages of pregnancy increased their risk of spontaneous abortions. The investigation team, who published their findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, studied over 90,000 pregnancies and discovered that certain forms of antibiotics were associated with increased risk, stated the Daily Mail.
Led by Anick Bérard, full professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal, the researchers analyzed data collected between 1998 to 2009 and cataloged in the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort. They excluded pregnancies that had been exposed to fetotoxic drugs and planned abortions; additionally, all the participants in the trial were within the 15- to 45-years old age group. By comparing 87,000 health pregnancies with 8,702 clinically detected spontaneous abortion cases, the researchers found five common classes of drugs with heightened the chances of miscarriage.
The antibiotics were identified as macrolides, sulfonamides, metronidazole, quinolones, and tetracyclines.
- Macrolides are a group of antibiotics that are usually prescribed to treat common bacterial infections by inhibiting bacterial growth.
- Sulfonamides are often used to treat ulcerative colitis, which is a chronic inflammation of the large intestine.
- Metronidazole is an antibiotic utilized alone or in combination with other drugs against parasitic infections and anaerobic bacteria.
- Quinolones are prescribed to treat a variety of infectious diseases such as urinary tract infections (UTI) and community-acquired pneumonia.
- Tetracyclines are used to take care of bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and infections acquired from contact with infected animals or contaminated food.
Nitrofurantoin, a drug prescribed to treat UTI in pregnant women, was noted for having no effect on the risk of miscarrying. Erythromycin had also been noted as safe.
Bérard and her colleagues found that 16.4 percent (or 1,428 cases) of women who miscarried had taken antibiotics. Breaking down their findings even further yielded the following results:
- Women who took metronidazole had a 70 percent increased chance of a spontaneous abortion,
- Those who took sulfonamides had a 101 percent increased risk,
- Tetracyclines users had at 159 percent risk of miscarrying, and
- Quinolones users had a 172 percent increased risk.
“Given that the baseline risk of spontaneous abortion can go as high as 30 percent, this is significant,” Bérard has said of the outcomes.
The risk of spontaneous abortion was greater in women who were older, lived by themselves, and were already diagnosed with numerous health issues, all of which the researchers took into account for their study.
“Although antibiotic use to treat infections has been linked to a decreased risk of prematurity and low birth weight in other studies, our investigation shows that certain types of antibiotics are increasing the risk of spontaneous abortion, with 60 percent to two-fold increase,” Bérard told the Telegraph. (Related: Shocking study finds that penicillin changes childrens’ brains, causing them to grow up angry and violent.)
The researchers concluded their study by writing: “Use of macrolides (excluding erythromycin), quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole during early pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion. However, residual confounding by severity of infection cannot be ruled out. Our findings may be of use to policy-makers to update guidelines for the treatment of infections during pregnancy.”
Dr. Nicola Davies, a general practitioner, has said that the study highlights major risks for women who were unaware that they were pregnant. “Most of these drugs are drugs you wouldn’t prescribe if you knew a woman was pregnant,” Davies has remarked.
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