After a number of researches and studies, experts say that those pregnant women who consume ibuprofen during early stages of pregnancy might be harming the fertility of their unborn daughters. It has been observed that those who take ibuprofen in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy might harm the germ cells necessary for reproduction.
Germ cells go into the making of gametes (the cells that fuse during fertilization) in organisms that reproduce sexually. They play a significant role in the process of fertilization. It has been seen that consuming ibuprofen can damage the ovarian tissue and stop the growth of germ cells.
Experts claim that consuming painkillers like Ibuprofen that belong to the class of medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can double the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. It has been estimated that almost 30 percent of women use ibuprofen during the first three months of pregnancy as a pain-killer. It is recommended to use paracetamol for pain relief rather than consuming these medicines.
To know whether Ibuprofen is harmful or not, a research was carried out on 185 fetuses from pregnancy terminations that were 7 to 12 weeks old. The Ovarian tissue was extracted and then cultured in a lab along with the blood from the umbilical cord of the fetuses to determine whether exposure to ibuprofen caused any harm. The lab report suggested that NSAID like ibuprofen crossed the placental barrier. Researchers said that the concentration found in the umbilical cords of fetuses from mothers who consumed almost 800 mg, which is four pills of 200 mg, two to four hours before surgery was similar to the content that can be found in adult’s blood. The tests revealed that fetal tissue exposed to ibuprofen for seven days had nearly half the number of ovarian germ cells. It was also found that there was a significant loss of germ cells after consumption of these drugs. Experts say that an exposure to merely 10 μM of ibuprofen after seven days was responsible for loss of germ cells.
A lot of speculations have been surrounding this topic in the past. There were reports of another drug known as acetaminophen to disturb the language development process of children at just 30 months in pregnant women.
Few limitations like short duration of cultured cells and conducting tests in a laboratory make it difficult for experts to study the long-term effects of the fertility of the reproductive function. Although further study will need to be carried out, pregnant women must avoid ibuprofen during those early months.