To reach this conclusion, scientists worked with ovarian tissue taken from 185 fetuses between 7 and 12 weeks of development. Through several experiments, they discovered that ibuprofen can cross the placental barrier and disrupt the growth of cells that will later form the ovarian follicles – these are the “little sacs” in which the oocytes develop, essential to reproduction.
Taking analgesics during pregnancy can affect the health of your baby. And not only that, but to its future fertility if it’s a girl! This is the conclusion of a work done by a team of French researchers led by Séverine Mazaud-Guittot (Inserm, University of Rennes) with ibuprofen. To demonstrate this, the researchers were forced to use cell cultures. Indeed – and it is easy to understand why – no epidemiological study is able to establish a link between the taking of a drug during the pregnancy of a mother and the consequences of this treatment on the reproductive abilities of her daughter … decades later.
Studies on the boy had clearly pointed out the harmful effects of analgesics causing the non-descent of the testicles or a malformation of the urethra. But at the girl’s, everything remained to be done. Only animal studies on mice or female rats had shown that ibuprofen resulted in a lower stock of reproductive cells, thus reducing the reproduction period. Remained to demonstrate it on human cells. “We have grown ovarian fragments that we have exposed to doses of ibuprofen similar to those of a conventional dosage,” says Séverine Mazaud-Guittot.
Beware of the danger of self-medication!
The result, published in the newspaper Human Reproduction, totally amazed the researchers:
“Exposing ibuprofen to ovaries corresponding to the first trimester of pregnancy causes a drastic reduction in the number of germ cells. And this from the second day of exposure! “As the researcher points out:” Our work comes to give grist to the current recommendations, very strict, and recommend to avoid the consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as ibuprofen in the first and second trimester. Only remains the problem of self-medication, especially at the very beginning when the pregnancy is not necessarily identified. “
Now, researchers are preparing to conduct similar research with another analgesic, paracetamol, but the difficulty may increase one notch. “If the effects observed are spectacular with ibuprofen, we already know that they will be less with paracetamol, a lighter analgesic. So we will have to study many more cases. “
If the current recommendations say that the analgesic should not be taken after 24 weeks of pregnancy, because it is known to increase the risk of fetal malformation, there are no specific guidelines on its consumption during the first few weeks, the study notes that 30% of women use ibuprofen in the first three months of pregnancy.
To consult the study: