Antibiotics and Pregnancy  

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A report by the Canadian Medical Association Journal just released findings that certain types of antibiotics, when used in early pregnancy,  are correlated to a higher risk of miscarriage. The classes specified are macrolides, quinolones, tetracyclines, sulfonamides and metronidazole. These classes include the following drugs:

 

  • Azithromycin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Spiramycin
  • Telithromycin
  • Norfloxacin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline
  • Tetracycline
  • Demethylchlortetracycline
  • Clindamycin
  • Metronidazole

A study from the University of Montreal reached a similar conclusion about these classes of drugs, and recommended that policy-makers should update their guidelines for treating infections during pregnancy.

Due to changing hormones, urinary tract infections are common in pregnancy, and doctors usually prescribe antibiotics such as amoxicillin, erythromycin, and penicillin. Tetracycline, while also used for UTI’s, is not usually prescribed because it can lead to liver problems and affect the developing baby’s teeth.

When considering antibiotics, probiotics should be considered. Probiotics have many benefits, even in conception. Probiotics are normally taken orally but they can also be used as vaginal suppositories. Probiotics prevent the colonization of the vagina with yeast and harmful bacteria. When such infections do occur they can have a negative impact on sperm before they reach the female egg for fertilization.

Douching removes the normal bacterial flora in the vagina. These are mainly lactobacilli bacteria (i.e. probiotics) which help maintain the inner vagina in a healthy state.

The two pathogens actually invade together. When this happens, the inner vagina gets inflamed and becomes a very inhospitable environment for sperm, thus leading to infertility.

It is a good idea to replenish the vagina with good bacteria after treatment, a simple yet effective way is to insert the capsules into the vagina in order to reestablish the balance of bacteria.

And if antibiotics are taken, they should be combined with probiotics at different time periods of the day, between 6 to 8 hours after antibiotics are used. It is also recommended to continue with probiotics for 3 weeks after finishing the antibiotics.

Traditional shelf stable probiotics have FOSS as the prebiotic, and that form of prebiotic has a tendency of feeding both the good and the bad bacteria. Laktokhan®’s prebiotic is sourced from Chicory Root; depending on how chicory root is processed (naturally or chemically), it can be either FOS or Inulin directed.  An “all-natural” means of extraction is used by Life Choice®. It produces long-chain fatty acids in the form of inulin. If a chemical extraction is used, a short-chain fatty acid is produced in the form of FOS. Inulin is the preferred choice because FOS can contribute to undesirable bacterial and yeast overgrowth.

Laktokhan® contains Inulin as the prebiotic, yet we must list fructo-oligosaccaride because there may be some residue of up to 5% FOSS (for example, some food groups state “may contain peanuts” when in fact no peanuts are present). Inulin and FOS are the means to the way both are processed and represented as Fructo-oligosaccharides are oligosaccharide fructans, both present in Chicory in a ratio of 80/20. The extraction process using water to separate the 2 components provides a final product with 95% Inulin and 5% FOS. The less expensive chemical extraction method is at least 80% FOSS and 20% Inulin.

Scientific testing is also important when selecting a probiotic. All the strains in Laktokhan® are scientifically tested; the same cannot be said for all probiotics, as an article in the Journal of Pediatrics observed:

 

Many over-the-counter probiotics now widely available in health food stores are neither reliable as products nor effective as remedies. They are sold under the general umbrella of ‘probiotics’ with disguised or sometimes overt claims. Sensible regulation of products and claims, as well as responsibility on the part of this industry, are sorely needed. In the area of probiotic research the hype, the misinformation, and the lack of regulation have blurred the line between scientifically acquired knowledge and anecdote or “pseudoscience.” But adequately designed and executed research in this field is finally sharpening our focus and should ultimately prevail.

 

Posted in Health.

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