Being pregnant can take a toll on your body no matter how fit and healthy you are. You will get body aches and pains quite regularly while you are pregnant.
You may well be familiar with Biofreeze for pain relief. And if you’re not then you will soon – by the time you have googled pain relief while pregnant!
But while you are pregnant there are many over-the-counter medications that you can not use. And like many of these over-the-counter products, the effects Biofreeze has on pregnancy aren’t completely known.
Here are a few things that you may want to consider before using it.
In this article
What Is Biofreeze?
Biofreeze is a pain relief product that is available in a variety of forms such as aerosol spray, cream, gel, roll-on, and patches. It is marketed as a solution for anyone suffering from localized muscle and joint pain or soreness.
It is a topical menthol treatment that feels cool in contact with your skin. The cooling sensation on your skin is created by the menthol and it works to relieve pain almost by tricking your brain.
Your brain gives the cold sensation priority over the pain sensation that your body is sending out, this is also the reason that an ice pack is quite effective in treating pain.
A topical product like Biofreeze may be more convenient over good old-fashioned ice, as you can put it on your skin and forget about it while you go about your usual daily routine.
Pregnancy And Your Body
During the second and third trimesters, pregnancy can put extra strain on your joints. This is due to the extra weight that you are carrying and your legs and hips may feel particularly sore and ache.
Plus with the hormone progesterone loosening up your muscles, you can expect this to lead to body aches during any period of your pregnancy.
When you are pregnant your center of gravity also changes, along with more of the hormone relaxin floating around your body, loosening joints, you can expect to get backaches more frequently.
All these extra aches and pains may well have you looking towards topical pain relief such as Biofreeze to ease your discomfort.
Is Biofreeze Safe To Use While Pregnant?
The quick answer is we don’t know. There is not enough known about Biofreeze and its use during pregnancy to determine whether it’s safe.
The product hasn’t been tested on pregnant or nursing women. It would be best advised to check with your doctor about using Biofreeze or other pain treatments.
There has been no specific research done with regard to the use of topical menthol products during pregnancy.
But there was a study from 1996 that looked at the effect of massage with two different stretch mark creams during pregnancy. One of those creams contained menthol, among other ingredients.
None of the pregnant women taking part in the study reported any adverse reactions from using menthol topically. There were also no reports of a reduction in stretch marks associated with the use of topical menthol.
Researchers believed that it was actually the massage itself that was responsible for fewer stretch mark cases amongst the group that used the lotions.
Another study from 2016 looked at the effects of throat lozenges that contain Lactobacillus reuteri or pregnancy gingivitis. These throat lozenges also contained menthol.
Again there were no adverse reactions reported with the menthol or the lozenge itself. The difference with this study is that it wasn’t actually looking at the effects of menthol and the menthol was actually consumed orally and not used topically.
There needs to be a more specific study carried out before any definitive statement can be made about the use of Biofreeze during pregnancy.
Pain Relief Alternatives During Pregnancy
While you are pregnant you need to remember that even topical creams and lotions are absorbed by your body. And while Biofreeze may appear safe other products may not be.
The problem that you have is that many muscle creams and patches contain methyl salicylate, an NSAID that is related to Aspirin and that should be avoided during pregnancy. That is unless you are instructed by your OB to take it.
Tylenol is often recommended by doctors for many pregnancy aches and pains, but it is not without its own risks.
Many pregnant women may decide to go down the non-medicated route and use things like heat and cold therapy or massage.
Even if you decide on this route you still need to use extreme caution, avoid placing high heat such as a heating pad directly over your uterus area.
And also ensure that your massage therapist is knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with pregnant women. Other things that may help to provide some relief are light exercise, stretches, and the use of a pregnancy pillow.
The Final Thought
The bottom line is that not enough research has been carried out on the use of Biofreeze during pregnancy to determine if it is or isn’t safe for use. The product has not been tested on pregnant women.
The best advice would be to check with your doctor before using Biofreeze or any other pain relief treatments. They may give you the go-ahead to use this product or be able to provide you with alternatives.
But remember aches and pains are not only normal they are extremely common during pregnancy. Regardless it is important that your doctor knows what is going on with your body over these 9 months, in order to provide you with the best care they can.