Pregnancy is a highly sensitive experience for couples. From the day of conception to the day of delivery, every parent wants to ensure a healthy life for their baby. While everyone emphasizes the importance of prenatal vitamins, what about the ongoing medications that most mothers and fathers are on?
Metformin, a popular anti-diabetic medication, has raised many concerns among pregnant couples. Is it safe? Does it contribute to congenital disabilities? Is it only the maternal consumption that affects the baby? The questions are diverse, and there are answers to them as well.
This article will explore more about metformin during pregnancy and the safety risks associated with the same.
In this Article
- 1 What is the Significance of Metformin?
- 2 Does Metformin Have Benefits during Pregnancy?
- 3 Is Metformin a Safe Drug Choice During Pregnancy?
- 4 What is the Correlation Between Metformin and Gestational Diabetes?
- 5 Are there any Alternatives to Metformin during Pregnancy?
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Conclusion
What is the Significance of Metformin?
As we just mentioned, Metformin is a drug prescribed to diabetes patients to control their blood glucose levels. Besides type-2 diabetes, Metformin is also prescribed for managing symptoms related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in females.
The mode of action of Metformin is to prevent the worsening of insulin resistance in Type-2 diabetes patients. Instead of preventing the body’s cells from utilizing the available insulin in the bloodstream, Metformin supports optimal uptake and usage of the free insulin in the blood.
Not just for diabetics, regulation of insulin resistance has equally benefitting results in patients with PCOS. Since insulin resistance is a very common consequence of PCOS, administering the correct dosage of Metformin prevents the condition from worsening.
Does Metformin Have Benefits during Pregnancy?
Not just during pregnancy, Metformin can also enable couples with a successful conception.
Diabetes patients who become pregnant have to stay extremely vigilant about their blood glucose levels during their pregnancy term. Even the slightest elevation leading to gestational diabetes can impose a fatal risk on the baby’s health and growth.
However, besides managing the blood glucose levels and ensuring optimal insulin functioning in the body, metformin has promising benefits before pregnancy, especially in PCOS patients with high infertility risks.
Metformin has promising benefits in making conception easier for females with PCOS, hormonal imbalance, and insulin resistance. One of the main issues most PCOS patients struggle with is irregular menstrual cycles due to lack of ovulation. Metformin corrects that.
With timely ovulation and the potent release of the eggs, the chances of conception are a lot higher for individuals. Patients with PCOS can also benefit from metformin because it supports weight loss and weight management.
However, the question of the hours is, “Is it safe to take metformin during pregnancy?”
We will explore that in the next section.
Is Metformin a Safe Drug Choice During Pregnancy?
Before you think of the worst, let us summarize – Metformin is generally considered a safe drug for intake during pregnancy.
Not just for diabetes and PCOS, your OBGYN might encourage taking metformin if you were already taking it before you got pregnant.
Studies have also not found significant complications associated with metformin and congenital disabilities in the fetus during pregnancy.
However, remember that every pregnancy is different. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone’s requirements throughout the pregnancy term are different too.
Doctors prescribe insulin as a potent diabetes treatment during pregnancy for optimal safety. Since the fetus is highly susceptible to risks with gestational diabetes, a direct insulin prescription has better effects than an oral anti-diabetic medication like Metformin.
Besides that, your OBGYN will assess your overall health and well-being before ascertaining what’s needed and what’s not needed throughout pregnancy. For example, in some cases, your doctor might prescribe both insulin and Metformin throughout the pregnancy to better combat the possible onset of gestational diabetes.
Few studies also associate Metformin with reduced miscarriage risks in pregnant women with PCOS. However, the results are still inconclusive and require further studies for a more comprehensive understanding.
What is the Correlation Between Metformin and Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is an extremely severe complication during pregnancy. Given the severity, most doctors often prescribe insulin as the first line of treatment to keep the mother’s blood glucose levels in check.
However, a review suggests that pregnant women who took Metformin to regulate their gestational diabetes gained less weight than women who administered insulin for the same purpose.
But, the highlight of the study was the two-year follow-up on the babies. The researchers found that the babies exposed to Metformin during the pregnancy are less prone to developing insulin resistance than those who didn’t.
However, further long-term and peer-reviewed studies are needed to ascertain these conclusions.
Are there any Alternatives to Metformin during Pregnancy?
Metformin is often prescribed during pregnancy to women at risk of gestational diabetes. However, the drug imposes a lot of side effects, including:
- Stomach pains
- Irregular heart rate
- Muscle pains
- Breathing complications, etc.
If you experience any of the above during pregnancy due to intake of Metformin, your OBGYN will likely switch you to insulin throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.
1-What does metformin do in early pregnancy?
The primary benefit of Metformin during pregnancy is to reduce the risks of gestational diabetes and regulate the blood glucose levels throughout the pregnancy term.
2-Does metformin cause congenital disabilities in pregnancy?
There are not many conclusive studies or research that ascertain any connections between intake of Metformin during pregnancy with congenital disabilities in the fetus.
3-When should I stop taking metformin during pregnancy?
Ideally, your OBGYN might switch you from Metformin to Insulin during pregnancy if you are experiencing any side effects from the medication.
The current and ongoing research concerning Metformin suggests that it is fairly safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, it is always ideal to listen to your OBGYN’s suggestions. Every pregnancy is different, so always stay vigilant and monitor the symptoms you are experiencing along the way. If something feels amiss, consult your OBGYN for further assistance.