The effects of using Metronidazole during pregnancy are considered inconclusive. There has been some evidence that this drug can cause birth defects, but these reports have not been substantiated. While repeated studies have been conducted and research has been performed on the effects of this drug on pregnant women and their developing children, the outcomes of these studies have not been considered conclusive. They are labelled as controversial because the findings are conflicting or do not provide a satisfactory answer.
Metronidazole is used to treat infections that fall under the categories of bacterial and parasitic. It isn’t effective against yeast infections or flu and cold viruses. The problem it presents with pregnancy is that it penetrates the placental barrier; so, it is obvious that it has the potential to affect the developing child in some way. What way that is and how severe the effect can be, are not entirely known.
New research suggests that it is actually harmless for pregnant mothers and foetuses. However, there is still a lack of research available to come to a satisfying conclusion. Studies on animals showed that cancer developed sometimes in developing foetuses and that some were born with cleft lips. However, most current research does not show a link between Metronidazole and these birth defects.
Still, experts urge both doctors and patients to be careful. There is still a chance of risk to the child, and mothers need to be aware of these risks and understand that the research is not entirely agreed on what effect, if any, this drug has on the developing child.
The advice given by the manufacturer, based on expert research, is that the drug Metronidazole should not be taken by pregnant women during the first trimester. Following that trimester, though, no further warnings are issued. Women are able to use the drug after that time, though their doctor may advise against it. While there is no solid evidence to prove that any real harm could befall either the mother or child after the first trimester, there is still an air of uncertainty around giving the drug at this time.
That’s due to the way that each pregnancy is unique from every other one. There can be no certainty in pregnancy, and just because the drug is safe for one mother and child, that does not mean it will be safe for all. So caution is advised, and women should take time to educate themselves on this drug and talk to their doctor about it before they start taking it while they are pregnant.