As the temperatures go down, you may be anxious to climb down into a hot tub for one of those cool weather pleasures, and a great way to relax, but a new study at Kaiser Permanente Research Institute adds more evidence that these pulsating pools pose a risk to pregnant women, particularly in the first trimester.
"Overall, the women who used hot tubs or jacuzzis, their miscarriage rate was twice as high as women who said they didn't use a jacuzzi or hot tub," says Dr. Dekun Li, epidemiologist.
As part of the study, researchers interviewed more than 1,000 pregnant women in the San Francisco area about their hot tub and jacuzzi use, and researchers found that pregnant women who spent time in a hot tub with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher had more than three times the risk of miscarriage than women who did not go hot tubbing. Scientists suspect that while adults can adjust to high heat, a fetus cannot.
"While a mother may still be okay to tolerate a one to two degree increase in body temperature, a fetus is already vulnerable to that temperature," says Dr. Li.
Don't be afraid to take a hot bath if you're pregnant. The report, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, adds that a hot bath does not appear to pose a risk of miscarriage.