What is Metformin and how does it affects pregnancy?

What is Metformin and how does it affects pregnancy?

Safe and healthy pregnancy is every woman’s goal in the way of expanding family. For successfully achieving this, woman tends to take necessary precautions before and during pregnancy. In every pregnancy, there is 3-5 percent risk of having a child born with birth defects.

Some of the birth defects can’t be prevented but the risk can certainly be reduced by taking prenatal vitamins and following the healthy lifestyle. 

In some cases, your doctor might suggest you not to take certain medications during pregnancy so as to avoid any conflict with the pregnancy and cause birth defects. One such medicine is metformin that could affect your unborn child.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is an oral medicine often prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and for regulating ovulation. It is very important to maintain blood sugar levels during pregnancy and metformin is designed to do that.

While it helps control blood sugar, one might have doubt whether metformin can be used during pregnancy or not. Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of metformin, it is very important to know why this drug is a blessing if you are trying to conceive.

Why is Metformin used before pregnancy?

Women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) will find extremely hard to get pregnant as this condition causes irregular periods. The key to pregnancy is ovulation and in PCOS, a woman might not ovulate every month, hence fewer chances of pregnancy.

PCOS and higher insulin levels in a woman go hand in hand; the physician might recommend metformin to regulate blood sugar level.

Is Metformin safe during pregnancy?

There is no evidence that supports its unsafe during pregnancy. Whether you are taking this medicine for the treatment of PCOS and type 2 diabetes, metformin is safe to use during pregnancy. Also, there isn’t any evidence that taking metformin is linked to the birth defect.

Some studies also suggest that taking metformin in early pregnancy or first trimester reduces the chances of miscarriage. This medication can also be prescribed if a woman has gestational diabetes. 

Moreover, metformin is also safe to use while breastfeeding. Some amount of the medication might be detected in the milk but it would not harm the child.

But all these decisions should be made by your doctor by thoroughly analyzing your medical history and other factors.

Dosage and Side Effects

Depending on the insulin resistance of your body, the daily recommended dosage is in between 1,500mg and 2,000mg. Many of the pregnant women might experience nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset, especially when they take higher doses.

Your doctor might recommend you to initially start with slow dosage and gradually increase it until you reach the prescribed dosage and able to tolerate it.

So if you are planning to conceive and also taking metformin, make sure you consult the doctor in advance even though the medicine is relatively safe to use in pregnancy.