Researchers have reported of the impact of pain relievers during pregnancy on the fertility of the embryo and his postpartum life.
These researches also explained that taking these medications may affect the future generations by affecting their DNA.
Findings add to a growing body of evidence that some medications, including paracetamol, should be used cautiously during pregnancy.
If necessary, paracetamol – also known as acetate minofin – should be used at the lowest dose for as short time as possible during pregnancy, as scientists at Edinburgh University studied the effect of paracetamol and ibuprofen on samples of fetal testes and ovaries.
The researchers found similar effects using several different experimental methods, including laboratory tests on human tissue samples and animal studies.
The study found that human tissues exposed to any drug for a week have reduced the number of cells that lead to sperm and ovum, which is called germ cells. The use of paracetamol for one week had an effect on the reduction of egg-producing cells by 40%. After exposure to ibuprofen, the number of cells decreased by almost half.
Previous studies conducted on mice have shown that analgesics taken during pregnancy have led to a decrease in germ cells in female offspring. This affects her fertility and the fertility of females in later generations.
Experts say that this is an important issue as girls produce all their oocytes in the uterus, so if they are born with a reduce number, this could lead to an early menopause.
Scientists have found that exposure to paracetamol or ibuprofen stimulates mechanisms in the cell that occur changes in the structure of DNA, called genetic tags. These tags can be inherited, which helps to explain how the effects of pain relievers on fertility can be transmitted to future generations.
Researchers found that the effect of pain relievers on reproductive cells is most likely due to their direct effect on molecules called prostaglandins that have major functions in the ovaries and testes.
The study, which was published in the Environmental Health Journal, was funded by the Medical Research Council, Wilcom and the British Association of Endocrinology and Diabetes in children.
“We encourage women to think carefully before taking pain killer during pregnancy and follow the current guidelines taking the lowest possible dose for as short a time as possible” said Dr.Rod Mitchell, who led the research at the MRC Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh.