A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism finds that low dose aspirin may help women with chronic low-grade inflammation and prior pregnancy losses achieve and maintain a pregnancy. The study looked at the effects of low dose aspirin on over 1200 women who had previously lost one or two pregnancies. Women with high CRP levels, who took aspirin, had a 35% higher chance of conceiving than women with high CRP levels who received a placebo. CRP is a protein produced by the liver, which increases when the body has inflammation. Aspirin, an anti-inflammatory medication, was shown to decrease the CRP levels in these women.
These findings support previous research, which has linked low-grade inflammation to infertility and pregnancy loss. Although there’s a lot we still don’t understand about why some women suffer multiple miscarriages, this study at least gives us a low risk treatment option that may help some of these women.
Women who have suffered multiple miscarriages often undergo a lengthy medical evaluation to try to ascertain the cause. This evaluation often includes blood tests for genetic screening, antiphospholipid syndrome, and for metabolic abnormalities, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. It also often includes an evaluation of the uterine cavity with a hysterosalpingogram, sonohysterogram, or hysteroscopy. As of right now, testing for CRP levels in these women is not supported by the medical literature nor endorsed by The American Society of Reproductive Medicine. More research will need to be done to see if CRP testing would be useful.
The majority of miscarriages are found to be related to chromosomal abnormalities in the embryos. When this is the case, aspirin treatment would not help. When the genetics of the embryos are not found to be the cause and the rest of a patient’s medical evaluation is normal, low dose aspirin could be considered for treatment.
Suffering multiple miscarriages can be emotionally and physically exhausting for a patient. Not having an answer for why these miscarriages are occurring only worsens the emotional toll. Even if a cause cannot be found though, new research is at least giving us some support for low risk treatments. Both low dose aspirin and progesterone treatment may help some women with recurrent pregnancy loss.
If you have suffered multiple miscarriages, you may want to ask your doctor about aspirin and progesterone treatment. Although not fully supported by the medical literature as of yet, the risk of taking these treatments is low, and may provide some benefit.