Laxative Tea: Miscarriage Risk?

can laxative tea cause miscarriage

Constipation is a common issue during pregnancy, and laxatives are often used to relieve it. However, it is important to consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially during pregnancy. While mild laxatives are generally considered safe for pregnant women, there are some concerns about the potential side effects of laxative tea.

Laxative tea contains natural herbs that can stimulate bowel movements and provide temporary relief from constipation. However, excessive consumption can lead to diarrhoea, fluid loss, and dehydration. Dehydration can further result in the loss of important blood minerals like potassium, which is crucial for heart and muscle function. Additionally, some herbal teas may contain compounds that are unsafe during pregnancy, increasing the risk of miscarriage, preterm labour, or other adverse effects.

Therefore, it is recommended to consult a healthcare provider before consuming any herbal teas during pregnancy, including laxative tea, to ensure the safest course of action.

Characteristics Values
Can laxative tea cause miscarriage? There is no evidence that laxative tea causes miscarriage. However, castor oil, a natural laxative, could cause fetal morbidity.
Types of laxatives Bulk-forming, stool softener, stimulant, osmotic
Safe laxatives during pregnancy Metamucil, Colace, Dicoto, Milk of Magnesia
Side effects of laxatives Reduced absorption of nutrition and other medicines, lower levels of magnesium salt in the blood


Constipation is a common issue during pregnancy, and laxatives are often used to provide relief. However, it is essential to consider the potential risks associated with laxative use, especially regarding miscarriage.

Laxatives are medications that help treat constipation by inducing bowel movements or bulking stools. They are typically recommended as a second-line treatment option if natural remedies and probiotics fail to improve bowel function. While mild laxatives are generally considered safe during pregnancy, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before use to ensure maternal and fetal health.

Some types of laxative teas, such as those containing senna or cascara sagrada, can have stimulant effects, leading to increased urination and diarrhoea. These effects can cause dehydration, which is dangerous during pregnancy. Additionally, excessive intake of certain herbal teas, including chamomile, has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. However, it is important to note that the evidence specifically linking laxative tea to miscarriage is limited.

To minimize risks, pregnant women should prioritize natural methods of relieving constipation, such as consuming high-fibre foods, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly. If these methods prove ineffective, consulting a healthcare provider is essential to determine the safest course of treatment, which may include mild laxatives or bulk-forming agents. It is crucial to follow the recommended dosages and duration of use to avoid potential side effects and complications.


What are the side effects of laxative tea?

Laxative teas are dangerous and can lead to a range of side effects. Firstly, they are ineffective for weight loss, despite being marketed as such. This is because by the time the laxative reaches the large intestine, most of the food and calories have already been absorbed by the small intestine. Thus, the "weight loss" caused by a laxative is mostly water weight, which returns as soon as the person rehydrates.

The overuse of laxative teas can lead to severe dehydration, which can cause tremors, weakness, blurry vision, fainting, kidney damage, and even death. It can also cause a disturbance in electrolyte and mineral balances, which are necessary for the proper functioning of vital organs. Additionally, laxative teas can lead to laxative dependency, where the colon stops reacting to usual doses, requiring larger amounts to produce bowel movements.

Other side effects of laxative teas include stomach pain, fatigue, emotional upset, dizziness, and poor memory. In some cases, long-term use of laxatives can lead to internal organ damage, including stretched or "lazy" colon, colon infection, irritable bowel syndrome, and liver damage.

It is important to note that laxative teas can interact with certain medications and are not recommended for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers, as they may have serious side effects.

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Are there any benefits to drinking laxative tea during pregnancy?

Drinking laxative tea during pregnancy is not recommended, as it can cause diuresis (increased urination) and diarrhea, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can cause an imbalance in mineral and salt levels in the body, and wash out important blood minerals like potassium, which is essential for heart and muscle function.

However, constipation is a common issue during pregnancy, affecting around 40% of pregnant women. If natural remedies such as increasing fiber and water intake, and regular exercise do not help, doctors may suggest taking a mild laxative. Bulk-forming laxatives like Metamucil (psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid) and stool softeners like Colace (docusate sodium) are considered safe for pregnant women.

Overall, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming any laxative tea during pregnancy, as there may be safer alternatives to treat constipation.


How does laxative tea work?

Laxative teas are herbal blends that are commonly used as over-the-counter constipation remedies. They are often marketed as a natural laxative. One of the most common laxative teas is Smooth Move tea, which contains senna, a powerful plant native to Africa and India. Senna has natural laxative properties, and its active chemical compounds, sennosides, cause the bowels to contract and help increase the amount of water and electrolytes in the colon, aiding bowel movements.

Laxative teas also often contain a range of herbs such as licorice, bitter fennel, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and sweet orange, which are meant to soothe the bowels and reduce the chances of cramping.

However, laxative teas can have several unpleasant side effects and are unsuitable for everyone. For example, consuming senna-containing products in high doses or for long periods is not recommended as it may lead to liver damage, electrolyte imbalances, severe dehydration, and laxative dependence.

It is always best to try natural methods of relieving constipation before deciding to take any medication.

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What are the alternatives to laxative tea?

While laxative tea is a popular choice for relieving constipation, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially pregnant women. If you're looking for alternatives to laxative tea, here are some options to consider:

  • Increase Fibre and Water Intake: Eating more high-fibre foods and drinking plenty of water is often recommended as the first line of treatment for constipation. Fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can help promote healthy digestion and bowel movements.
  • Mild Laxatives: If natural methods don't provide relief, consult your doctor about mild laxatives such as Milk of Magnesia or bulk-forming agents like Metamucil.
  • Stool Softeners: Your doctor may suggest using a stool softener containing docusate to ease constipation without the stronger effects of a laxative.
  • Natural Remedies: Some natural remedies, such as cod liver oil, are not recommended during pregnancy as they can hinder the absorption of specific vitamins and minerals. However, there may be other natural alternatives that your doctor can advise.
  • Herbal Teas: While herbal teas are not regulated and may contain compounds unsafe for pregnancy, some herbal teas are generally considered safe. These include ginger tea, peppermint tea, and lemon balm tea. However, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before consuming any herbal teas during pregnancy.
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Frequently asked questions

There is little evidence to support the claim that laxative tea can cause miscarriage. However, it is considered a last resort for pregnant women. It is always best to try natural methods of relieving constipation, such as eating high-fibre foods and drinking more water.

The side effects of laxative tea include cramps and watery diarrhoea. Prolonged use can also lead to dehydration and a loss of important blood minerals like potassium.

Yes, there are a few alternatives to laxative tea. Doctors usually recommend natural remedies and probiotics to improve bowel function. If these do not work, they may prescribe mild laxatives such as Milk of Magnesia or Metamucil.

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