You know aspirin as your chalky go-to pill for your run-of-the-mill fever and back pain, but lately, researchers have been looking into this classic OTC for its potential health benefits in major and surprising ways. For example, a month ago scientists suggested aspirin could help double the chances of survival for cancer patients. And now, a study has found aspirin can give a woman’s fertility a boost.
Researchers from the University of Utah and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted a study comprising 1,228 women ranging from 18- to 40-years-old who all had previously miscarried and experienced systemic inflammation. They took 81 milligrams of aspirin every day (equivalent to one typical baby aspirin). At the conclusion of the study, researchers determined this group was 17 percent more likely to become pregnant and almost 20 percent more likely to have a successful birth when compared to women who did not pop a daily aspirin.
The researchers believe aspirin helps lessen systemic inflammation, which then creates an environment more conducive for embryo growth.
Some experts are on board, such as Richard Poulson, vice president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, who believes a woman who is seeking conception should indeed take a small amount of daily aspirin. "Unless they are allergic or have a gastric condition, I would certainly advise them to take it, there is no harm. Many people use it routinely, including in our clinics. We have been doing this for many years,” Poulson told Medical News Today. Poulson adds that aspirin has been credited with increasing blood flow to the pelvic region and thickening the womb lining to facilitation embryo implantation. (Do note that, according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s imperative that you take daily aspirins under the guidance of a physician—don’t do it on your own, as there are potential side effects like internal bleeding.)
Other experts, though, aren’t too sure. "My impression is that most doctors think aspirin would be beneficial in a sub-group of women, but would there be benefits for all women? My impression is it is probably too blunt an instrument," says Dr. Stuart Lavery, consultant gynecologist at Imperial College London in the UK. Whether or not low-dose daily aspirin therapy will be widely recommended for women with inflammation is still unclear.
Ultimately, it’s your body that determines what’s best for you. Consult your physician if you have any childbearing goals. Who knows, aspirin might just be what the stork needs.