Constipation Medicine For Pregnant Women

A healthy pregnancy is a joyous time, but the body’s fluctuating hormone levels can lead to all sorts of symptoms, from backaches and exhaustion to nausea, heartburn, and constipation. Luckily, there are many treatments for constipation that are safe for pregnancy, such as adding more fiber to your diet and boosting fluid intake, and simple lifestyle changes like pelvic floor exercises. But if these aren’t enough, some medications and over-the-counter laxatives may help. It’s important to discuss these options with your obstetrician to ensure you are using a medication that is safe for both you and your unborn child.

Many over-the-counter laxatives, such as bulk-forming agents and lubricants, are pregnancy-safe when used according to the package directions. Stimulant laxatives, on the other hand, have mixed evidence of safety during pregnancy and should only be used short-term to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Common stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Dulcolax) and senna (Senokot, Ex-Lax).

Although it is normal to become constipated during pregnancy, it’s important not to ignore this symptom. Constipation can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition such as colon cancer or a bowel obstruction. In some cases, it can also be a warning sign of an increased risk of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. It’s always best to see your obstetrician for diagnosis and treatment, especially during the first trimester.

Most laxatives work by changing the consistency of your stool and promoting regular bowel movements. Some do this by stimulating the muscle of your digestive tract to move more quickly, while others act by absorbing water or decreasing the amount of water absorbed by the large intestine. Several different types of laxatives are available over-the-counter and with a prescription, including bulk-forming agents, lubricants, and stimulant laxatives.

Osmotic laxatives are the next best option for treating constipation in pregnant women when other treatments such as bulk-forming agents don’t work. These medications increase the amount of water in your stool by raising the concentration of water in your intestines. The most commonly available OTC osmotic laxative is polyethylene glycol (Miralax). A similar type of osmotic laxative, Linzess, is also available with a prescription.

Some osmotic laxatives have been shown to cause a negative effect on fetal growth in studies, so they should be used only as a last resort. However, a few medications have been studied more extensively and are considered safe to use in pregnancy, including lactulose (Lomotil), which is only available with a prescription.

Pregnant women often worry that the discomfort caused by constipation will also affect their babies, but this is unfounded. Most constipation is caused by physiological and anatomical changes in the gastrointestinal tract that do not impact the baby, but it’s still important to consult your obstetrician before attempting any laxatives during pregnancy. For a gentler method of treatment, consider a locally acting micro-enema such as MICROLAX Enema, which takes effect only in the rectum, so it will not affect your baby. Then you can enjoy the last few months of your pregnancy without worry or discomfort!