By: Dr. Bill Meyer

Low dose aspirin (LDA), at a dosage of 60 to 150 mg started prior to 16 weeks’ gestation may lower the risk of preeclampsia (toxemia) in women who are at risk for the disease.

The cause of preeclampsia remains unknown, but is thought to be a result of decreased blood perfusion of the placenta or afterbirth. This leads to a total body response that results in damage of blood vessel linings leading to elevated blood pressure, decreased blood flow to the placenta, and alterations in certain clotting factors.

LDA usage has been shown to decrease the incidence of preeclampsia if commenced prior to 16 weeks’ gestation by inhibiting certain clotting factors found in platelets so that platelets are less likely to stick to themselves and blood vessel walls. Additionally, LDA may allow blood vessels to dilate rather than constrict.

Women With the Following Conditions Are At Risk for Toxemia: 

1.Toxemia in a prior pregnancy

2. Chronic high blood pressure

3. Diabetes

4. Lupus

*Most recently it has been reported that egg recipients may have a predisposition for developing toxemia when pregnant.

At Carolina Conceptions, many women (especially those undergoing IVF), are put on LDA to increase the chance of implantation and reduce the risk of early miscarriage.  It may be suitable, in the absence of any vaginal bleeding, to continue on LDA when you are referred back to your obstetrician after successful treatment at Carolina Conceptions. Your OB can then make a determination as to whether you will continue the medication throughout the rest of your pregnancy.

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