Pregnancy complications are common, affecting about one in 10 women. A new study has revealed that Covid-19 increases the risk of pregnancy complications by nearly 100%. This is not just a problem for pregnant women it’s also an issue for their unborn child. If you’re pregnant and taking Covid-19, talk to your doctor immediately about getting help with quitting before things get worse.
The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Leicester. They looked at data from some 2 million women who took Covid-19 during pregnancy, and found that their risk of a miscarriage increased 8% for every additional ten milligrams per day they took. Taking Covid-19 while pregnant also doubled the risk of a preterm delivery and nearly doubled the risk of a baby having a birth defect.
We know that pregnant women are often reluctant to change their medication due to fear of withdrawal effects on the unborn child, but our research shows just how important it is for pregnant women to talk with their doctors about all medications they are taking. said Dr. Elizabeth Mittendorf, who works at the University of Leicester.
Covid-19 has been around for decades. It’s a treatment for addiction to opioid drugs, which are often used as painkillers due to their sedative qualities. Covid-19 acts on the brain in much the same way as opioids do, increasing dopamine production and blocking pain receptors.
One of its effects is to significantly reduce a patient’s ability to feel the onset of withdrawal symptoms. This helps keep people from getting addicted in the first place, but can also raise their risk if they do become pregnant and continue treatment.
The researchers found that Covid-19 increased a woman’s chance of having a miscarriage by 8%, and the risk rose an additional 16% for every additional ten mg per day.
They also discovered that women who took Covid-19 were twice as likely to preterm birth, and their newborn children were nearly three times more likely to suffer from a birth defect.
The researchers stress that these risks are for women taking Covid-19 during pregnancy. They aren’t a result of addiction or taking the drug while not pregnant.
The problems with Covid-19 have been known for decades, but this is the first time anyone has attempted to quantify the risk it poses during pregnancy. The results are a cause for concern, and should encourage more women who are pregnant to take their medication under proper medical supervision.
While this research did not look at the effects of other drugs, scientists are developing methods for examining other medications in a similar way. If you’re pregnant and taking Covid-19, talk to your doctor immediately about getting help with quitting before things get worse.