COVID19 Safety Alert

Patient On Metformin To Prevent Miscarriage: Is It Necessary?

Question:

HI Dr. Ramirez,

Sorry to keep this up about the Metformin, but you have been so helpful in the past...thought I would try your take on this.

I talked with my Doc about low dose heparin, and he told me that he does not prescribe this unless tested and confirmed thrombophilia is present, which he says I do not have. He would really like me to take the metformin. I have had one chemical pregnancy and one 9 week miscarriage and am currently 5 weeks pregnant. I took his advice and so far have taken 5 pills. I am extremely nauseated, which I know is from the Metformin as a few hours after it started. I REALLY DO NOT want to take this stuff after just recovering from OHSS. IS there any greater risk of miscarriage stopping now that I've started, and is there a greater risk of miscarriage if I don't take this med. I would love your thoughts on metformin and PCOS. Many sites are saying it really helps in the early stages of pregnancy for PCOS women to stay pregnant.

Thanks so much for your time....once again! C. from Canada

Answer:

Hello C. from Canada,

Metformin does nothing to help with a continuation of pregnancy and does not need to be continued once pregnant unless it was prescribed for diabetes. It is a pregnancy category B medication so is safe in pregnancy if your doctor insists that you continue it. If you were my patient, you would not be on it now. Metformin, given to help some PCO patients ovulate, is for that specific reason only. Once pregnant, the Metformin has done its job and is no longer required. If it is causing side effects, which it usually does, then I think I would recommend that you stop. There are absolutely NO recent studies that show that continuation of Metformin in PCO patients helps the pregnancy to survive or continue. Pregnancies continue or miscarry for many other reasons. Your doctor is mistaken but since he is the doctor you have chosen for your care, you have to decide if you are going to abide by his recommendations or not.

By the way, based on his comment about heparin, it is clear to me that he doesn't understand its use in recurrent miscarriage patients or infertility patients. It is obvious that he is not a specialist in that field. Please see my section on "Recurrent Pregnancy Loss".

P.S. Regardless of what many sites may be saying on the internet, you are wise to ask the advice of a medical professional.

Good luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
http://www.montereybayivf.com/
Monterey, California, U.S.A.

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