Why pregnant mothers should avoid painkillers

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen should be used sparingly.

New findings published in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal shows that the painkillers could affect the fertility of the unborn child later in life.

The medications may also distort the DNA or genes of the children making them transfer the fertility problems to future generations.

This is done by triggering mechanisms in the cell that make changes in the DNA structure.

Paracetamol and Ibuprofen should be used sparingly during pregnancy.

How the research was done

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh assessed the impact of the two drugs on tissue samples taken from testicles and ovaries of unborn foetuses.

Tissue exposed to the drugs for a week had a reduced number of germ cells which give rise to sperm and ova.

The ovaries reduced egg production cells by 40% while ibuprofen reduced by 50%.

Being born with fewer egg-producing cells could lead to early menopause or lead to complications during conceiving.

Pregnant women are therefore encouraged to take the lowest possible doses for painkillers for the shortest time possible.

They should seek medical attention rather than over-the-counter solutions as most pharmacies aren't run by pharmacists who would understand the risks with administering unfit medication to a pregnant woman.

Paracetamol is safer

Paracetamol is a safer choice compared to ibuprofen.

This is also due to the fact that taking Ibuprofen in the last few weeks of pregnancy can lead to low levels of amniotic fluid.

When used a week to delivery, they increase the risk of bleeding which could threaten the life of the baby and mother.

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