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Is It Safe to Take Medication While Trying to Conceive?
When your goal is growing a healthy baby, you want to be extra cautious about what enters your body. If you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications regularly, is it safe to continue them while trying to conceive? Here are some guidelines on minimizing risks from medications when planning pregnancy.
Why Medications Matter Preconception
Certain medications can potentially impact your fertility and your future baby’s development in these ways:
That’s why having an open conversation with your doctors about the safety, risks, and alternatives for your medications is very important preconception. Never stop prescribed medications abruptly without medical guidance.
Assessing Medication Safety
All medications come with potential risks and side effects, but some pose more hazards to fertility and fetal development than others. In general:
For greatest safety:
Categorizing Medication Risk for Pregnancy
The FDA classifies drug risks during pregnancy using these categories:
Category A – Considered safe, with no risks in human studies
Category B – Low risk in studies, but potential benefits outweigh risks
Category C – Risks cannot be ruled out based on animal and human studies
Category D – Positive evidence of risk, but benefits may outweigh risks
Category X – Unsafe, poses serious birth defect risk
Always thoroughly discuss medication risks and categories with your OBGYN or reproductive endocrinologist when planning pregnancy. Share all your health conditions and the drugs you take to manage them. They can help identify the safest options to achieve pregnancy.
Reducing Medication Use Preconception
If you don’t have a complex or unstable health condition requiring daily medication, you may consider these tips in partnership with your doctor:
The goal is to eliminate or reduce potentially risky medications through informed decisions with your healthcare providers. But don’t stop taking prescribed drugs before discussing with your doctor.
Safe Pain Management Options
For pain relief, some safer options trying to conceive include:
Avoid pain medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and stronger prescription narcotics when possible.
Discussing all your current medications with your OBGYN before conception enables you to make informed choices about safety for your fertility goals. Don’t panic if you’ve already been taking medications–your doctor can help mitigate risks and optimize your chances of a healthy pregnancy.