Tak­ing painkillers in preg­nancy could harm fer­til­ity of un­born sons

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - HEALTH NEWS -

PREG­NANT women who take painkillers may be harm­ing the fer­til­ity of their un­born sons as well as daugh­ters, re­searchers have warned.

Sci­en­tists have pre­vi­ously said ibupro­fen and parac­eta­mol re­duce the num­ber of cells that would even­tu­ally be­come ovaries.

But now a Bri­tish team has dis­cov­ered they have the same ef­fect on cells that would later pro­duce sperm in boys.

Painkillers may also af­fect the fer­til­ity of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions by trig­ger­ing changes in Deoxy Nu­cleic Acid (Dna)/ge­netic ma­te­rial struc­ture, which can be in­her­ited, the re­search found.

The find­ings add to the grow­ing body of ev­i­dence that preg­nant women should be wary of tak­ing painkillers.

The find­ings, pub­lished in the jour­nal En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Per­spec­tives, back up pre­vi­ous re­search.

Cur­rent guide­lines state they should avoid ibupro­fen – due to its link with a range of com­pli­ca­tions. They can take parac­eta­mol, but ide­ally at the low­est pos­si­ble dose, for the short­est pos­si­ble du­ra­tion.

Aspirin is thought to be safe in low doses and some women are pre­scribed daily pills to re­duce the risk of mis­car­riage.

In the lat­est study, Ed­in­burgh sci­en­tists looked at the ef­fects of parac­eta­mol and ibupro­fen on foetal sam­ples of the testes and ovaries.

They found that af­ter one week of be­ing ex­posed to parac­eta­mol, the num­ber of egg-pro­duc­ing cells was re­duced by 40 per cent.

The ef­fect of ibupro­fen was even greater and the num­ber of egg-pro­duc­ing cells was al­most half.

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