According to a new study conducted on the effects of taking Paracetamol and other drugs during pregnancy, it is found that these drugs may cause fertility issues for the young one in the womb. This is based on the test study conducted on rats because the reproductive system of rats is similar to humans.
A team of scientists at the MRC centre for reproductive health, University of Edinburg conducted a research on the effects of pain medication. The team gave paracetamol and indomethacin (similar as Aspirin) to pregnant rats and tested the offspring for fertility. The shocking results showed the following:
- The rats that took the pain medication gave birth to offspring which had less number of eggs and smaller ovaries compared to the offspring of normal rats.
- They also produced fewer babies.
- Infant male offspring had fewer cells to give rise to sperm but their fertility became normal when they reached adulthood.
The negative effects of paracetamol are found to be greater in female offspring when compared to the male offspring. As the reproductive system of rats is similar to humans, it is wise to take precautions.
Paracetamol is usually taken to treat mild to moderate pain, fever, cold and headaches while Indomethacin is used for arthritis pain management and inflammation.
It is also necessary to consider the fact that the research is performed on rats and not humans. The co-author of the study mentioned that there must be further research to understand the mechanism by which the drugs affect the baby’s reproductive system in the womb. He also suggested that it is necessary to know if shorter doses of the drugs have the same effect. However, it is best for pregnant women to take precautions during all three trimesters to avoid any such health issues.
Precautions For Pregnant Women
- Minimize the use of paracetamol and other painkillers.
- Do not take over-the-counter medications for cold, body ache and fever during pregnancy.
- Consult your gynecologist and get prescribed medication that is safe for you and the baby. Also, take medication only if it is necessary.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle such as balanced diet, regular physical activity, and moderate workouts to stay fit and avoid physical discomforts.