Researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada have identified a link between the use of macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, and some other common antibiotics in early pregnancy and an increased risk of miscarriage.
The findings were recently reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, miscarriage occurs in around 15 to 20 percent of women who are aware of their pregnancy, and it is most common among women aged 35 or older.
A miscarriage is usually defined as loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy.
Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage and that chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages.
Over half of all miscarriages are caused by abnormalities in the chromosomes of the fetus. Other factors that may raise the risk of miscarriage include diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, and infection.
Study co-author Dr. Anick Bérard, of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal, notes that antibiotics are widely used during pregnancy to help treat infection, but studies assessing their safety have produced conflicting results.
Dr. Bérard and colleagues sought to address such limitations with their new research. “We aimed to quantify the association between exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy and the risk of spontaneous abortion, taking into account methodologic limitations of previous studies,” they explain.