A new study finds that taking painkillers during pregnancy may affect the unborn child’s future fertility. Ibuprofen, trade name Advil and Motrin, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. It is not recommended during pregnancy or even while attempting pregnancy due to potential adverse effects on ovulation, implantation and both early and late fetal development. Acetaminophen, trade name Tylenol is a medicine used to treat both pain and fever. It has generally been believed to be safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Recently, investigators at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland reported online in Environmental Health Perspectives the results of their study examining the effects of ibuprofen and acetaminophen on samples of human fetal testis and ovaries in culture. Ovaries exposed to acetaminophen had 40% fewer egg-producing cells while after ibuprofen exposure, the number of egg-producing cells was reduced by almost 50%. Testicular cells exposed to these painkillers in culture had 25% fewer sperm-producing cells.
These investigators cautioned that in utero exposure to ibuprofen and acetaminophen may adversely affect future fertility of the unborn child. If you have questions about your fertility, please contact us. We are here to answer all of your questions and guide you on your path to parenthood.
Please see these additional blog posts for more information on medications and supplements during pregnancy: