New research suggests that for many women a daily aspirin reduces systemic inflammation to make the womb a safer environment for embryo growth, increasing the odds of conceiving by up to 17%. Previous research on the benefits of aspirin in women hoping to conceive has also shown that a daily low-dose aspirin increases the blood flow to the pelvis and thickens the womb lining. These changes often make it easier for an embryo to implant.
This newest study involved 1228 women in the 18-40 age range who had miscarried in the past year. All of the study subjects were found to have systemic inflammations.
Some health experts worry about offering such broad advice and feel that there is insufficient research evidence to suggest the aspirin regime to every woman hoping to conceive. They note that the drug comes with several side effects, including internal bleeding.
Currently the US Preventative Services Task Force only recommends the low-dose aspirin during pregnancy after 12 weeks of gestation and for women with a high risk of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys.
The USPSTF feels more research is needed before a daily low-dose aspirin becomes the standard recommendation for all women hoping to increase their chances of conception. But many doctors have been making just that very recommendation for years.
Richard Poulson is vice-president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Professor Poulson believes that based on findings from this and previous similar studies, a woman trying to conceive, especially those who are undergoing fertility treatments, can benefit from the daily aspirin regime. He says that unless the woman is allergic or has a gastric condition the low-dose daily aspirin can enhance their chances of conception and is a recommendation that the university’s clinic has been offering to women for many years.
Another recently conducted study seems to back up the professor, with researchers reporting that in vitro fertilization success rates got a big boost – in some cases up to 80% – among women who regularly took aspirin.
It may not be a miracle drug, but aspirin appears to have positive benefits for women hoping to conceive. Other ways to boost fertility should also be incorporated into a woman’s lifestyle: quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, a healthy diet and increased physical activity all play a part.