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Pregnancy paracetamol linked to female fertility problem

Monday January 8th, 2018

Taking paracetamol during pregnancy could reduce the fertility of female offspring, Danish researchers have reported.

The findings follow recent studies that have linked paracetamol use during pregnancy with disruptions in the development of the male reproductive system.

Scientists from Copenhagen University Hospital reviewed three different rodent studies, all of which reported that the reproductive systems of female offspring from mothers that took paracetamol during pregnancy were altered. Those changes could impair their fertility in adulthood, they say.

Writing in Endocrine Connections, Dr David Kristensen and colleagues describe how they evaluated the effects of paracetamol taken during pregnancy on the development of the reproductive system in female offspring.

“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,” he said.

They admit that these findings have yet to be firmly established in humans and recommend an inter-disciplinary approach.

Dr Kristensen said combining epidemiological data from human studies with more experimental research on models, such as rodents, it could 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.

He urged women to consult with their GP, midwife or pharmacist if they were concerned about taking paracetamol during pregnancy.

EDC IMPACT: Is exposure during pregnancy to acetaminophen/paracetamol disrupting female reproductive development? Endocrine Connections. 6 January 2018.

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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