ToxicFree Foundation / Articles

Certain UTI medications may raise risk of birth defects

For a large number of women, Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are just a part of life. And they can be such regular occurrences for some women that they’re considered more of a nuisance than an actual concern. When you’re pregnant though, UTIs can be downright scary.

According to a new report, two of the most popular antibiotics typically prescribed for expectant mothers with UTIs are now of serious concern. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) and nitrofurantoin (Macrobid), administered in the first trimester have now been linked to birth defects. The birth defects aren’t minor either, they include “heart, brain and facial defects…" according to Elizabeth Ailes, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). What’s of most concern is that despite the known health risks these medications come with, they’re still being prescribed.

Not treating the UTIs isn’t an option either though, because untreated UTIs can result in babies being “born at a low birth weight, babies born prematurely and the development of body-wide infections that can be deadly.” There has been a recommendation made by experts that these medications weren’t to be used in the first trimester, but speculation has been that the news wasn’t passed down as it should have been. Another doctor’s opinion is that physicians simply aren’t following the recommended guidelines for how much of the UTI medication to administer.

While this news will raise eyebrows, it’s important to not draw any final conclusions from these studies. Like most scientific findings, there are those that don’t agree with the reports. One thing is clear though, and it was evident before these reports were even released, it’s important to ask questions. If you’re not sure… ask. And even you think you’re certain, it never hurts to ask.

To learn more about the potential dangers of UTI medications for pregnant women, click here: