Parenting / 30 October 2015, 08:19am / BEN SPENCER
London - Women trying for a baby should take a quarter of an aspirin a day, one of the world’s top fertility experts recommends.
Professor Richard Paulson advises that a low daily dose of the drug will help them conceive.
Aspirin is known to promote blood flow to the pelvis and to thicken the lining of womb, which helps women get pregnant.
The latest research suggests it also decreases inflammation problems, further increasing the chance of conception.
A study found that women who had previously miscarried were more likely to become pregnant if they took a daily low does of aspirin.
But Professor Paulson, vice-president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), says any woman should take the drug to increase their chance of a quick conception – even if they have previously had no fertility problems.
This goes against the advice of some experts because aspirin can have side-effects.
Professor Paulson was responding to the results of a study that was presented at the annual ASRM conference in Baltimore.
Researchers from Utah University found that women who had previously miscarried were 17 percent more likely to become pregnant if they took low-dose aspirin each day. They monitored 1 200 women aged 18 to 40 who were known to suffer from systemic inflammation problems and had miscarried in the last 12 months.
Those who took 81mg aspirin each day – roughly a quarter of a standard 300mg tablet sold for pain relief – were more likely to conceive. The pregnancies were 20 percent more likely to end in a successful birth, the researchers said.
Professor Paulson, a consultant gynaecologist at the University of Southern California, has for years advised patients undergoing fertility treatment to take a low dose of aspirin. But he added that any woman trying to start a family should take the drug.
“Unless they are allergic or have a gastric condition, I would certainly advise them to take it, there is no harm,” he said.
Aspirin, which thins the blood and reduces inflammation, has been found to ward off the threat of diseases including cancer.
Some doctors advise that it is taken routinely in low doses as a general preventative medication.
But while considered safe for most adults, for one in ten it can cause side effects such as digestive problem and bleeding.
And in asthmatics it can cause swelling of the lips, mouth or throat. In very rare cases, aspirin can cause haemorrhagic stroke.
Not all experts back Professor Paulson’s advice. Coventry-based gynaecologist Richard Kennedy said: “The evidence does not support its routine use in IVF.”
Dr Stuart Lavery, a fertility expert at Imperial College London, said: “We need to be slightly cautious. Aspirin is too blunt an instrument to recommend this to everybody.”
YOGA CLASSES BOOST FERTILITY
Fertility clinics should offer yoga to boost couples’ chances of having a baby, experts claim.
They say that one woman in three going through fertility treatment suffers from severe anxiety and depression.
A quarter of these drop out of IVF programmes early – yet they could effectively combat the stress with 45 minutes of yoga a week.
Infertile women who undertook a class for only six weeks saw their anxiety levels reduce by 20 percent, significantly improving their chance of conception. In comparison, 50 women who did not do the exercise classes saw no significant change in their stress levels, the Chicago-based study found.
Stress hormones can stop a woman ovulating or reduce the chance of a fertilised embryo implanting in the womb. Researcher Dr Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, who will present her findings to the ASRM, said: “Cost remains a top reason couples stop infertility treatment, but close behind remains emotional distress. We believe yoga can help to alleviate this stress.”