Beta-blockers and Getting Pregnant?

What are beta-blockers, and how to they affect pregnancy?
profile picture of John Rinehart, MD, PhD, Reproductive Medicine Institute, Chicago
ByJohn Rinehart, MD, PhD, Reproductive Medicine Institute, Chicago
Fertility Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
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Beta-blockers are a type of prescription medication that helps to reduce high blood pressure. The “blocking” in the name comes from the drug’s ability to block the effects of the hormone epinephrine (aka adrenaline). That makes your heart beat slowly, which in turn reduces blood pressure. It also helps to widen your blood vessels, so more blood can flow though your body. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs in about 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies in the US, so plenty of moms-to-be may be prescribed antihypertensive drugs such as beta-blockers to manage this condition during pregnancy. Beta-blockers are generally considered safe for use during  pregnancy in helping to reduce high blood pressure and aren’t thought to affect your ability to get pregnant.

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