Improving Fertility with Heparin
Heparin belongs to a class of drugs called anticoagulants. These types of drugs are also known as blood thinner medications, however Heparin does not actually thin the blood, but it does prevent blood from clotting. While it will prevent the growth of previously formed blood clots, it will not dissolve already existing blood clots.
Heparin works by targeting the thrombin compound, which is found in blood. Thrombin helps to clot the blood, so by inactivating thrombin, the platelets in the blood become less sticky and less likely to form clots.
Heparin is often given in small doses alongside low-level aspirin therapy as a form of fertility treatment.
How does Heparin affect fertility?
Heparin can be helpful in treating fertility problems in women. It prevents blood clotting in the placenta of pregnant women with high levels of antiphospholipid antibodies, who are at higher levels of multiple miscarriages and stillbirth.
Blood clots that form in the placenta interfere with the passage of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, which endangers the unborn baby. Blood clots can also change the makeup of the placents, making it harder for an egg to be implanted.
The effectiveness of Heparin in improving fertility is still being debated, but in combination with low-dose aspirin therapy, studies have shown that Heparin can increase the odds of carrying a pregnancy to term. The effects of this drug on the fetus and mother during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, still need to be studies more in-depth.
Heparin is available in oral and injected forms and can be accompanied by low doses of other fertility drugs.
Heparin Risks and Side Effects
While more studies still need to be conducted on the effects of Heparin on the pregnant women and fetus, there are known side effects. These include, but are not limited to: back pain, stomach pain or abdominal swelling, skin rash, unusual or excessive bleeding, bone loss, hair loss, chest pain, sudden headaches, dizziness or loss of coordination, sudden difficulty breathing, slurred speech or vision changes, unusual bruising, coughing up blood, joint pain, vomiting blood or dark substances, changes in skin color, hives, decreased height, numbness or tingling of limbs.
If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Heparin or after taking Heparin, seek medical attention immediately. Speak to your doctor about the side effects, precautions, and risk factors associated with Heparin before starting treatment.