Aspirin Could Boost Fertility, Scientists Say

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Scientists believe that aspirin, a drug thought to decrease the risk of stroke and prevent heart disease cancer, could also aid fertility.

An American study revealed that taking approximately one quarter of a regular aspirin tablet (the recommended amount for a child) could boost chances of conception and giving birth, particularly in the case of those who have suffered a miscarriage previously.

Studies conducted in recent years have found that taking an aspirin a day can lower the risk of developing and dying from heart attack and stroke as well as breast, prostate, stomach, oesophageal and bowel cancers.

It can, however, increase the risk of death from peptic ulcer and stomach bleeding by 70%.

Cancer Research UK estimates that if one thousand 60 year olds took aspirin each day for a decade, it would save approximately 17 lives from heart attacks and cancer whilst causing 2 to 3 deaths from bleeding.

Aspirin is thought to target inflammation within the body and this provides a safe environment for an embryo to grow.

The drug has been shown to boost blood supply to the pelvis as well as making the lining of the womb thicker for easier embryo implantation.

According to fertility experts, women should think about taking a minimal amount of aspirin (around 81mg) every day to advance their chances of getting pregnant, in particular if they have lost a child or struggled to conceive. Most aspirin tablets bought over the counter are 300mg.

The study was conducted by the University of Utah and the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) in Maryland. It looked at 1228 women who had previously suffered miscarriages.

It was found that in women with high levels of inflammation, swallowing an aspirin increased their chance of pregnancy by 17% increasing from 56% to 67%. Their chance of giving birth to a healthy child also increased from 46% to 55%, an overall rise of almost 20%.

Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Richard Paulson, said his patients were advised to take pre natal vitamins such as folic acid and an 81mg baby aspirin every day whilst they were receiving fertility treatment.

He said that many people, including people at his clinics, use aspirin routinely and have been doing for many years. He went on to say that previous studies have been divided but there was not enough evidence to stop the use of low-dosage aspirin.

Professor Paulson said aspirin is the drug of the millennium and there is no harm in women taking it if they want to get pregnant as it increases endometrial thickness and blood flow to the pelvis.

Dr Stuart Lavery, Consultant Gynaecologist at Imperial College, said that there is substantial underlying science to imply a link between fertility and inflammation, which aspirin can help.

Other experts in Britain have issued caution, claiming there is still insufficient evidence to suggest that aspirin could benefit women trying to get pregnant.