Pregnant women should avoid taking certain antibiotics to avoid spreading the infection, a new study suggests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of a nationwide survey Tuesday, showing that just under a quarter of American women have used a single-use antibiotic at some point during their pregnancy.
The survey found that nearly one in three women use an antibiotic for more than 30 days.
That’s more than one in six women.
The CDC also said more than a quarter had used at least one antibiotic in their pregnancy, and nearly half had used the antibiotic at least once during pregnancy.
It said it is not known whether the antibiotic use was related to infection or related to labor.CDC spokesman Dan Stessel said the findings were important because they might shed light on the overall rate of infection and the need for better drug screening.
He said the survey did not indicate that use of a single antibiotic during pregnancy is the norm.
“The survey did include information about women’s health care providers, including the use of antibiotics,” Stessel told reporters in a statement.
“The findings in this survey provide some useful insights into how common it is for women to use antibiotics during pregnancy, but there is no indication that these practices are widespread.”
The survey of 6,096 women was conducted between July 4 and Sept. 30.
The CDC said the sample was drawn from women who had not had a vaginal delivery.
In addition to the antibiotic data, the survey found nearly two-thirds of respondents used a different antibiotic during their pregnancies, compared with about half who did not.
More than a third used one or more antibiotics at least three times during pregnancy; nearly half used more than four.
More:The survey was based on data from nearly 6,000 women who participated in a nationally representative sample of women who gave birth to children in 2011 and 2012.
The results of the survey come as a wave of infections that has killed thousands of people around the world has taken its toll on public health, but it also has raised concerns about antibiotic resistance.
The new survey highlights the need to take a more holistic approach to prescribing antibiotics and to improve testing, Stessel added.
“This is not the end of the world,” he said.
“It’s just a snapshot of where we are right now.
This is not what we want.”