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Pregnancy and hot tubs can be a dangerous combination.
Spending 10 minutes or more in a hot tub can raise your body temperature to 102 F (38.9 C), causing a condition known as hyperthermia. Some studies have shown an increased risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects — serious abnormalities of the brain or spinal cord — in the babies of women who experience high temperatures during the first four to six weeks of pregnancy.
If you might be pregnant and plan to use a hot tub, or you choose to use a hot tub during pregnancy, take these steps to reduce the risks:
If you used a hot tub for a lengthy period of time early in pregnancy, consider talking to your doctor about ways to detect neural tube defects during pregnancy.
Roger W. Harms, M.D.
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