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Can Using Hot Tub Cause A Miscarriage?

By Shabana

If you planning to conceive or are already pregnant, there are plenty of advises that you are likely to hear. One of them is avoiding the use of hot tubs as it could lead to a miscarriage.

Even doctors do recommend against the use of hot tubs during pregnancy. The scientific reason behind this is linked to one's body temperature. Research says that having a high body temperature, especially during the first trimester, can increase the chances of neural tube defects. The same thing holds if one has a high fever when pregnant.

Studies have given evidence that hot tubs during the early pregnancy days can increase the risk of having a miscarriage apart from neural tube defects.

Doctors, therefore, warn pregnant ladies against raising their body temperature beyond 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Just soaking in a hot tub for barely 20 minutes can raise your body temperature to as high as 102 degrees.

Can Hot Tubs Actually Cause Miscarriage?

According to a study conducted in 2003, hot tub usage during pregnancy can increase the chances of suffering a miscarriage. The study results showed that the risk of miscarriage was double if hot tubs were regularly used in the first trimester of pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association does not recommend the body temperature exceeding 101 degrees F during pregnancy. To avoid the chances of miscarriage, you can opt to lower the temperature of the hot tub and not use it for more than ten minutes.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2003, a study was conducted where users and nonusers of hot tubs during pregnancy were examined. The results of the study showed that women who used Jacuzzi or hot tub after conceiving were twice as likely to have a miscarriage when compared to women who did not use a Jacuzzi or a hot tub.

Also, it was found that the risk of miscarriage increased with an increase in the setting of the water temperature in the hot tub or Jacuzzi. The miscarriage rate also escalated with an increase in the frequency of usage of hot tubs and also with its usage at a very early gestational age.

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In Which Semester Can This Happen?

The baby in the first trimester does not have completely developed organs; therefore hot tub baths under controlled circumstances is fine to a certain extent. However, the scenario is different in the third or the final trimester. Therefore, it is essential that during the third trimester, you only stick to warm baths and refrain from saunas and baths in Jacuzzi and hot tubs. A warm bath would be a bath that has a temperature close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and not more. This is to ensure that excess heat does not increase the heart rate. This is essential to keep the blood circulation and its flow well-regulated.

Nevertheless, one should be aware of the fact that during early pregnancy days, although all the organs of the foetus have not developed, the brain keeps developing at a rapid pace and subjecting the foetus to extreme heat could cause severe birth defects.

To be on the safer side, it is advised that a pregnant lady refrains from hot tub baths during the entire duration of the pregnancy. To feel relaxed, you can just have a warm bath. Ensure that the temperature of the warm water is below 100 degrees F.

Can Hot Tubs Cause Birth Defects?

Research shows that women who used saunas or hot tubs during the early pregnancy days had a high risk (almost triple the chance) of having babies with brain defects or spina bifida. There is a potential warning attached to all uses of saunas and hot tubs during pregnancy.

According to an article published in The New York Times, exposing young foetuses to high heat can be quite dangerous to their health. If hot tubs are used, especially during the first six weeks of pregnancy, the possibility of birth defects increases by about two to three times.

Saunas have a temperature that ranges between 170 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas hot tubs have water at a temperature between 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. According to doctors, heat exposure to the foetus due to use of saunas and hot tubs made the risk of birth defects as high as 6.2 times compared to what it would have been without the exposure to high heat.

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What Are The Precautionary Measures?

A hot bath is a much safer option compared to soaking in hot tubs. Hot tub maintains the temperature, whereas in a hot bath, the water cools down quickly. Also, as your body is not submerged, the temperature of your body would only slightly rise and that too very slowly. However, make sure that even the hot bath water is not too hot. Monitor your body temperature along with the temperature of the water at short intervals during the entire duration of your bath.

Read more about: miscarriage pregnancy
Story first published: Monday, October 15, 2018, 18:11 [IST]
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