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Paracetamol in pregnancy may damage baby girls’ fertility

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Health Desk: 10 January 2018: A new study warns women who consume paracetamol during pregnancy, widely used to reduce a high fever or relieve pain, may increase the risk of damaging the fertility of their daughters.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland found that human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. If this effect occurs in the womb, it could mean baby girls exposed to the common drug end up being born with fewer eggs.

This would give them fewer years in which they could become pregnant and lead to an early menopause, the Daily Mail quoted the researchers as saying.

It may be because both paracetamol and ibuprofen interferes with a hormone called prostaglandin E2, which appears to play a vital part in the development of the foetal reproductive system.

For the study, presented at the Fertility 2018 conference in Liverpool, the team tested the effect of paracetamol and ibuprofen on human foetal testes and ovaries over a week.

Researchers counted germ cells that turn into sperm and eggs.