Is it safe to use laxatives during pregnancy?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Some laxatives can be used during pregnancy to treat constipation that does not get better with home care. Laxatives work in different ways to help stool move through the digestive system. Many laxatives are available over the counter, but some of these are not safe during pregnancy. As with all medications during pregnancy, they should be used only under a doctor's care. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

Continue Learning about Laxative

What are the risks of using laxatives to treat constipation?
Prolonged daily use of stimulant laxatives (usually over the course of several years) may be damagin...
More Answers
What are HalfLytely and Bisacodyl Tablets?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
HalfLytely and Bisacodyl tablets Bowel Prep Kit is a prescription product used to cleanse the in...
More Answers
How do stimulant laxatives relieve constipation?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Stimulant laxatives are prescribed by doctors to empty the bowels before a medical procedure and to ...
More Answers
How do oral laxatives work?
Lawrence S. Friedman, MDLawrence S. Friedman, MD
Depending on the type, oral laxatives work in a variety of ways to ease the passage of stool through...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.