Monday, September 16, 2013

What if I get pregnant while taking Dong Quai?

Dong Quai is a plant and people make herbal supplements and medicines from the roots. When googling "dong quai" many sites come up that talk about the beneficial effects dong quai has on "uterine health," "premenstrual syndrome." Some articles also talk about how dong quai is an aphrodisiac and can help increase chances of getting pregnant. How much of this is true?

Many people take dong quai because they believe it will help them get pregnant, but dong quai is not proven to help fertility and dong quai is not safe for use during pregnancy. Since most people do not suspect they are pregnant until they are at least 5 weeks along, damage to the unborn child could occur during this time.

Following is a summary of the information available from research with the drug:

Dong quai has not been proven to have any effectiveness at all for menopausal symptoms. There is not enough information yet to rate the effectiveness of dong quai on painful menstrual periods and pms. However, dong quai also has no effect on sexual desire or fertility. The only purpose that dong quai is possibly effective for is premature ejaculation in men, when applied topically- and that is only possibly!

Is drinking an occasional cup of tea made with dong quai necessarily harmful? Probably not. But, it is important to know the facts about the research and risk.

There is a report that dong quai has caused birth defects in the unborn and it has been shown that dong quai affects the muscles of the uterus in pregnancy, which can be destabilizing.

If you have been taking dong quai for any reason, there are risks. Although you might need to take it in large doses for it to have great risk, the product contains chemicals that are carcinogens and it can make you more sensitive to UV rays from the sun, which could raise risk of skin cancer. It won't do what most people think it will do, either.

However, if you have been taking dong quai and find out you're pregnant, that does not immediately mean your baby will have birth defects. Simply stop taking dong quai and consult your healthcare provider.

Also, come by 1st Way and schedule a free ultrasound. There, you can talk to a registered nurse about your concerns. We'll be happy to help!

1st Way is a nonprofit, nonpolitical and nonreligious voluntary service organization. We offer help to any woman distressed by an unplanned pregnancy regardless of circumstances. All services are free and confidential. 

1st Way
1667 High Street
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Call 541.687.8651
or 1-800-848-LOVE


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