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Is It Safe to Use Diuretics during Pregnancy?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The use of diuretics during pregnancy is not typically recommended, except in the case of certain health conditions. Most over the counter diuretics are sold for weight loss purposes. These are not recommended for anyone, pregnant or not, as they can cause health problems if used for an extended period. Sometimes prescription diuretics may be used during pregnancy in those with kidney problems or in the case of extreme edema. When they are used, they should be taken under the direct supervision of a health care provider to ensure safety and effectiveness.

A diuretic is an agent that removes excess fluid from the body. They may be used in certain health conditions if the kidneys cannot remove fluids efficiently enough on their own. They're also commonly used as weight loss aids, since many people experience puffiness or water weight gain when they are retaining fluids. Use in this manner is not recommended. Certain drinks, such as coffee or tea, may also have a diuretic effect.

In most cases, using diuretics during pregnancy are not considered safe due to the risk of dehydration. This is especially true when patients use over the counter versions. Although excess water retention can lead to weight gain, most people who retain water are actually dehydrated to begin with. When the body doesn't get enough fluids, it holds on to as much water as it can, leading to bloat. Usually, drinking plenty of water is enough to remove the excess from the body to remove bloat.

Pregnant women have a much higher chance of water retention than other women. This is due to increased blood flow and production, as well as the fact that many pregnant women are partially dehydrated. Many pregnant women do not drink the recommended amount of fluid per day. Excessive urination and vomiting due to morning sickness can exacerbate this problem. For this reason, diuretics during pregnancy are not recommended, since they can make dehydration a lot worse.

Sometimes health conditions could warrant the use of diuretics during pregnancy. If the kidneys are not releasing fluids properly, they may be used to stimulate this process. This should only be done under a doctor's direct supervision.

Even women who do not actively take over the counter pills may be using diuretics during pregnancy without even realizing it. Coffee and certain other caffeine-containing beverages have a natural diuretic effect. If anyone drinks these substances, they should be followed up with water to make up for the lost fluids.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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