Pregnancy is a beautiful time for expectant mothers who are eagerly awaiting the little one that grows inside of them, but it can also be a very scary time. Doctors are constantly finding new factors that can harm the unborn child, and pregnant women must be careful of what they eat, breathe, or do. Researchers in Europe have now found a link between the painkillers that women take during their pregnancy, and their son’s future fertility, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The study done in Denmark and Finland, showed that women who took more than one mild painkiller at a time during their pregnancy, where seven times more likely to give birth to boys with testicles that weren’t descended. The study also showed that women who took these multiple painkillers during the second trimester of their pregnancy were sixteen times more likely to have boys with this problem. Also, men who were born with testicles that aren’t descended, are more likely to have fertility problems when their older.
The study that was also done in rats showed that when painkillers where used during pregnancy that they disrupt the endocrine system which changes the way that the body goes about in producing testosterone, according to NBC. Boys who were born with this condition have lower sperm counts and lower quality of their sperm. Infertility problems among men have grown over the years, with sperm counts dropping sharply, according to The Medical News.
So what does this mean for pregnant women? Even though the study has to be done many more times to know the real connection between taking painkillers during pregnancy and infertility among men, err on the side of caution when pregnant. Never take painkillers, which includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen unless absolutely necessary. A day of mild discomfort from an untreated headache will be a lot better than a lifetime of problems for your children. But always consult your doctor before taking any type of medicine, especially while expecting. More and more factors are being found to affect pregnancy, so make sure that you and your doctor are well educated on all of these things. Education is the key to a healthy lifestyle for both you and your child.
Healthday, “Painkillers in Pregnancy May Harm Son’s Fertility, Study Suggests” Bloomberg Businessweek
Kate Kelland, “Mild painkillers linked to poor sperm quality” NBC
ESF, “ESF Report: Reduced male fertility may contribute to low birth rates” The Medical News