Pregnancy and metformin
Whether you’re expecting your first child or expanding your family, a safe and healthy pregnancy is crucial. This is why you take precautions before and during pregnancy to keep your unborn child healthy and reduce the risk of birth defects.
Some birth defects can’t be prevented. But you can lower your child’s risk by taking prenatal vitamins, maintaining a healthy weight, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can also lower your risk by being careful about what medications you take while pregnant. This is because certain medications can cause birth defects.
If you’re taking the prescription drug metformin, you might have concerns about how the drug will affect your pregnancy. Let’s explore the benefits and any risks of using metformin while pregnant.
What’s the role of metformin?
Metformin is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s also used off-label to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes increased blood sugar levels. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that occurs in women of reproductive age.
What metformin does
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body control your blood sugar levels. The key problem associated with type 2 diabetes is a condition called insulin resistance. It refers to the body’s inability to use insulin properly.
Metformin is commonly used to help relieve insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. It helps your body use insulin and thus keeps your blood sugar levels under control. Metformin plays a similar role in helping to treat PCOS. This is because insulin resistance is linked with PCOS and may worsen problems associated with it.
Benefits of metformin for pregnancy
Metformin can be especially helpful in treating both diabetes and PCOS when it comes to pregnancy.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level while pregnant. It reduces the risk of diabetic complications for you, and it helps reduce the risk of birth defects and other complications in your pregnancy. Metformin can help with both of these goals.
If you have PCOS, metformin can make a big difference before you even get pregnant. This is because it can actually help you conceive. PCOS makes it harder for you to become pregnant. It can cause missed or irregular periods, and it can cause small cysts to grow on your ovaries. Also, it may prevent you from ovulating every month, and if you don’t ovulate, there’s no egg to fertilize, and thus, no pregnancy.
Metformin can help improve your rate of ovulation, increasing your chances of getting pregnant. And metformin has benefits even after you get pregnant. It can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to the blood sugar problems caused by PCOS. It can also help you lose extra weight gained because of PCOS.
But enough about the benefits of metformin — is it safe to use during pregnancy?
Is metformin safe during pregnancy?
Now that you know how helpful metformin can be for both type 2 diabetes and PCOS, you’ll be happy to know that it’s generally considered safe to take during pregnancy. This is true whether you take it for the treatment of type 2 diabetes or PCOS. While it does cross the placenta, metformin has not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects or complications.
Therefore, if you’re already taking metformin before you get pregnant, your doctor may encourage you to continue using the drug throughout your pregnancy. However, the first-line treatment for diabetes during pregnancy is insulin. Your doctor will prescribe a medication based on your personal medical history and what they think is best for your health and the health of your baby.
Even if you weren’t already taking metformin before your pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe it for use during your pregnancy. For instance, if you’re already taking insulin for type 2 diabetes, your doctor may prescribe metformin along with the insulin to better control your blood sugar levels.
Your doctor may also prescribe metformin if you have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Metformin could help reduce that risk. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include being overweight, having prediabetes, or having developed gestational diabetes in prior pregnancies.
There’s one more thing to keep in mind about the benefits of metformin during pregnancy. Some studies suggest that women with PCOS who take the drug during pregnancy can lower their risk of miscarriage.
Metformin has a very low risk of birth defects and complications for your baby, making this drug safe to take before and during pregnancy.
Metformin is also safe to take while breastfeeding your child. Trace amounts of the medication might be detected in breast milk, but it won’t harm or affect your infant’s growth and development.
If you have questions about the safety of using metformin before or during pregnancy, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can further explain the benefits and risks of using this drug during this critical time in the health of you and your baby.