In my Facebook Fertility Support Group there is frequent discussion on medication and fertility. Some common over the counter medications can affect your ability to conceive as can some prescribed medication. Today, I am focussing on over the counter medications but look out for part 2 of the series, which will consider the affect prescribed medication can have on fertility and part 3 will look at the impact of medications on male fertility.
This blog is intended for information on medication and fertility, and on no account should you stop any medication without discussing it with your doctor or specialist first. If you suffer from a chronic illness it is so important that you take the medication you need to treat your condition, however it is equally important that you have an understanding of the side effects. This information will then help you to have an informed discussion with your doctor on the side effects of your medication and how they impact on your fertility.
Medication and Fertility
Non-steroidal (NSAID) pain relief
Research has recently highlighted that NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen (also called Brufen), Voltarol (Diclofenac) and pain medication containing aspirin can affect ovulation and implantation. These medications may also increase the risk of miscarriage. Paracetamol is a good alternative as there is no known evidence on its affect on fertility. However if you do need to take NSAID’s it is advisable to avoid around and after ovulation.
In the hay fever season some women rely on antihistamines such as Piriton and Sudafed to get on with there daily routine and this may continue through the year if you suffer from pet allergies etc. Antihistamines can dry up cervical secretions. If a woman is observing her cervical secretions to help identify when she is fertile, antihistamines can interfere with accurate identification. Good quality cervical secretions are needed to help the passage of sperm to meet the egg and therefore where not needed antihistamine use should be kept to the minimum and especially around the fertile time.
Laxatives are used to treat the discomfort of constipation however there use can hinder the absorption of calcium which is necessary for the production of healthy eggs and sperm. Try more natural remedies such as increasing the amount of fibre in your diet or by trying the occasional natural laxative medication such as Senna.
Antacid medication such as Gaviscon is taken to help with acid reflux and other digestive disorders. If taken in large amounts, this medication can interfere with the absorption of iron, leading to anaemia. When trying to conceive, a woman requires a good haemoglobin level. Keep the use of antacid medication to the minimum or try natural alternatives.
AS A REMINDER – THIS BLOG IS FOR INFORMATION ON MEDICATION AND FERTILITY ONLY AND IT IS VITAL THAT YOU DO NOT STOP TAKING ANY MEDICATION UNTIL YOU HAVE TAKEN ADVICE FROM YOUR DOCTOR.