Is Boric Acid Harmful in Pregnant Women?

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Although it has been categorized as "benign" by the Environmental Protection Agency, boric acid can be extremely harmful to a pregnant woman and her fetus. The health risks associated with boric acid during pregnancy are quite significant, and it should be avoided as much as possible.

Pregnant Woman Showing Her Stomach
(Sergey Borisov/iStock/Getty Images)

Boric acid is used for a variety of reasons, including pharmaceutical and agricultural, among others. It is commonly used to treat eye infections, yeast infections and athlete’s foot. Boric acid can be used to kill roaches, bugs and fleas, and it is also sometimes used in mattresses, futons and upholstery.

Boric acid can be used for a variety of reasons.
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The National Toxicology Program has conducted studies on rats, mice and rabbits regarding pregnancy success after boric acid exposure. In all three animals, miscarriages increased drastically after the pregnant mother was exposed to boric acid.

Rats exposed to boric acid were more prone to miscarriage.
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If the baby does survive the pregnancy and birth, exposure to boric acid will likely lead to significant birth defects, including heart defects and abnormalities of the body structure, such as abnormal ribs and missing vertebrae. A study done by Boston University Medical Center found that human mothers who used boric acid medications during their pregnancies were almost two times as likely to give birth to children with major birth defects.

Women exposed to boric acid were more likely to give birth to children with birth defects.
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Animal studies have also shown that birth weight is affected by boric acid exposure during pregnancy. When compared to the offspring of unexposed mothers, the offspring of mothers who were exposed to boric acid were almost always born at a significantly lower body weight.

Birth weight may be affected by exposure.
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Pregnant mothers should avoid exposure to boric acid as much as possible. If you become pregnant and are taking a medication that contains boric acid, you should speak with your doctor regarding an alternative medication. Also, do not use any roach killers that contain boric acid during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should avoid exposure to boric acid.
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