Recent research shows that smoking increases chances of having an ectopic pregnancy. There is also new evidence to suggest that women who are on or have been on anti-psychotic medication are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes.
The link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy
Everyone knows about the many reasons why smoking is bad, why it is even worse for women than men and why it is particularly bad for pregnant women. Recent research shows yet another reason why smoking is so bad for a pregnancy.
An ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg implants at a site other than the uterus (mostly the fallopian tube) is a grave pregnancy complication; and one that can cause maternal death. Ectopic pregnancies are the most frequent cause of maternal death and they occur in up to 2% of pregnancies.
Smoking is known to affect the expression of the gene BAD which is responsible for the preparation of the uterus for a pregnancy. When the production of BAD is reduced, this causes changes in the environment of the uterus. This causes the erroneous implantation of the fertilized egg at a site other than the uterus.
It goes without saying that no woman should smoke during pregnancy because it endangers her own as well as her baby’s life. Smoking even before pregnancy could cause problems such as impaired fertility, increased chances of a miscarriage and so on. If you are a smoker, the sooner you give up smoking, the better it is.
Antipsychotic drugs linked to gestational diabetes
Anti psychotic drugs have recently been linked to the pregnancy complication, gestational diabetes. A study examined 360,000 women over a 4 year span. The study found that women who were on anti psychotic medication were more likely to have pregnancy related diabetes that women who were not on the medication.
However it isn’t a simple matter of stopping the drug for as long as a woman is pregnant. Because anti psychotic drugs are prescribed only in cases of severe mental disorders; as in the case of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and so on. In many cases women have to continue this medication even throughout pregnancy.
The findings were contrary to expectations that drugs such as Olanzapine (brand name Zyprexa) or and Clozapine (brand names Fazaclo or Clozaril) would be likely culprits because of their side effects of weight gain, insulin resistance and so on. However it was the antipsychotic drugs that were seen to be responsible.