When you’re an expecting mother, the list of things to be wary of only grows larger and larger everyday. Unfortunately, we’ve got one more thing to raise your awareness about, with new findings that show a significant risk factor for miscarriage.
This lies in the use of oral fluconazole, which is commonly taken to relieve yeast infections. In a nationwide Danish cohort study involving over 1 million pregnancies from 1997-2013, it was found that a total of 147 miscarriages occurred in the 3,315 pregnancies exposed to oral fluconazole, compared with 563 in the 13,246 control pregnancies.
This means that if you do get a yeast infection while pregnant, you and your doctor should be vigilant in ensuring that you are not prescribed oral fluconazole. This is of particular concern because due to hormonal changes, the prevalence of yeast infections is estimated to be 10% among pregnant women in the US.
Usually, intravaginal topical azoles (which can be obtained over the counter) are usually the first course of treatment, but oral fluconazole can be used instead if the patient would prefer or if symptoms are severe or recur.
Long-term, high dose usage of oral fluconazole is associated with significant facial and skeletal birth defects, and most studies usually examine the effects of a lower dosage typically used in pregnancy. Given that there have only been two studies so far to make the connection between oral fluconazole with miscarriages, it’s still early to tell how how solid the data is. In the meantime however, it can’t hurt to be on the safe side!