Using Acetaminophen While Pregnant May Affect Daughter's Fertility


The over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, is commonly used by pregnant women worldwide.

According to a review published in Endocrine Connections, taking acetaminophen while pregnant may cause fertility problems for female offspring.

The review was done by Copenhagen University Hospital researchers. It included data from three animal studies showing alterations in the reproductive organ development of females born to mothers on acetaminophen during pregnancy.

In the reviewed studies, pregnant rodents were given acetaminophen at doses equivalent to what pregnant women might use for pain relief. Subsequently, these rodents gave birth to females with fewer eggs, lowering their chances for successful reproduction, especially as they age.

“Although this may not be a severe impairment to fertility, it is still of real concern since data from three different labs all independently found that paracetamol may disrupt female reproductive development in this way, which indicates further investigation is needed to establish how this affects human fertility,” said reviewer Dr. David Kristensen.

While parallels between rodent and human reproductive development exist, it will be difficult to validate these findings by demonstrating the same acetaminophen link with human mothers and daughters.

Dr. Kristensen suggests that by “by combining epidemiological data from human studies with more experimental research on models, such as rodents, it may be possible to firmly establish this link and determine how it happens, so that pregnant women in pain can be successfully treated, without risk to their unborn children.”

Though the researchers cannot make medical recommendations, they urge pregnant women needing pain relief to consult with physicians or pharmacists.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: Phoebe !


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