Can Antibiotics Affect Your Pregnancy?

Updated on June 19th, 2021
Antibiotics and Pregnancy

When you are planning to become pregnant, each month feels like a year. Not only does it involve an excruciating waiting game, but the venture also requires lots of preparation and self-care.

You want to ensure you stick to activities and foods that can accelerate your chances of conception and avoid the things that can possibly get in the way. If you’ve recently come down with a sickness and have been recommended antibiotics, you might wonder if it will impact your pregnancy odds.

So, can you become pregnant on antibiotics, or will you have to wait until you complete your course?

When trying to conceive, you’re most likely paying particular attention to your diet to ensure that your chances of getting pregnant are great. This also infers that you are trying your best to avoid potential obstacles that can hinder your likelihood of getting pregnant.

Antibiotics are considered one such obstacle for the sole reason that they tend to alter one’s body as it helps the body recover from illness [1].

Experts suggest that women who are trying to conceive should avoid specific cold medicines and antibiotics. However, no scientific evidence proves that taking antibiotics can impact a woman’s fertility. Falling ill when you are ovulating can have no impact either, though it can interfere with your desire to have sex.

[Read: Best Supplements While Pregnant]

Can Antibiotics Affect Fertility?

Antibiotics refer to an array of antimicrobial medications that help fight bacterial infections. They are the most generally prescribed drugs in allopathic medicine. Find out how it affects fertility in men as well as women:

Impact of Antibiotics on Male Fertility

Most of the clinical trials undertaken to study the repercussions of antibiotics on fertility mainly focussed on male fertility rather than female fertility. Research proved that several antibiotics like Penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin can negatively affect male fertility and sperm. Few medicines resulted in decreased semen quality.

Impact of Antibiotics on Female Fertility

Most women who are on antibiotics fear if they can lead to infertility. Their major fear is that antibiotics can hinder ovulation, menstruation, or embryo implantation, making it challenging for them to conceive. But there is no conclusive evidence suggesting any detrimental effects of antibiotics on the hormones that control the ovulation, menstrual cycle, or conception.

[Read: Acupuncture for Fertility]

The Chances of Becoming Pregnant While Taking Antibiotics

Intake of antibiotics while trying to get pregnant is highly unlikely to influence your chances. In a few instances, women on antibiotics have reported experiencing deviations in their ovulation patterns, particularly in cervical mucus production. However, there is no conclusive proof to support the notion.

The woman’s body’s infection may be a more prominent cause of her temporary infertility than the antibiotics. On the contrary, taking antibiotics can possibly help you conceive by effectively treating the infection, which may be a possible restriction on the conception process.

Antibiotic therapy can help re-establish the reproductive system’s well-being, which may have been depleted by bacterial infection [2].

[Read: The Ultimate Pregnancy Supplementation Guide]

Risks of Taking Antibiotics While Pregnant

The use of specific cold drugs and antibiotics can pose a risk if a woman gets pregnant and is not aware of it yet. Antibiotics like cephalosporins and clindamycin are usually considered safe when pregnant, but other antibiotics can harm your pregnancy.

Intake of powerful antibiotics during pregnancy can cause developmental defects in the growing fetus or lead to pregnancy termination. Therefore, it is prudent to be sure about your pregnancy in case you are infected and have to take antibiotic treatment to avoid any possible complications in the future.

Medications that fall under category A or B, as approved by the FDA list, can be safe to use during pregnancy.

Category A includes antibiotics that are proven to cause no damage to the fetus. Mycostatin is presently the only antibiotic listed as Category A.

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Category B, the most general category, includes antibiotics that are not known to cause congenital disabilities or any pregnancy complications.

The antibiotics listed as Category B include Amoxicillin, Penicillin, Cloxacillin, Ampicillin, Flucloxacillin, Cefradine, Cephalexin, Cefuroxime, Cefpodoxime, Cefixime, Ceftriaxone, Cefotaxime, Erythromycin, Azithromycin, Clotrimazole, Naproxen, and Metronidazoles.

Different antibiotics contain varying ingredients that can influence women differently. Therefore, it is always suggestible to avoid self-medication and refer to a physician before taking antibiotics. Also, let your physician know that you are trying to conceive to prescribe antibiotics accordingly in case of any illness.

Antibiotics have been known to interact with certain drugs, even ones that regulate your menstrual cycle, so few people may assume they interfere with the chances of conception. Research has found that certain antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of hormone-regulating birth control pills.

Still, there is no research or data to show that antibiotics interfere with ovulation, conception, or menstrual process. Sperm and male fertility could be adversely impacted by antibiotics like tetracycline, Penicillin, and erythromycin, according to the Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology table.

Bottom Line

If you are trying to become pregnant, along with self-care, lots of intercourse, and patience, it’s imperative to let your physician know that you are in the process of trying to get pregnant.

When evaluating any illness or sickness, you come across, your physician will understand your situation and can possibly check to see if you are pregnant and prescribe you antibiotics accordingly.

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