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Pregnancy: Ibuprofen Can Negatively Affect the Fertility of Female Babies

Armen Hareyan's picture
Pregnancy and ibuprofen on girl's fertility

Taking pain relievers is not recommended during the first months of pregnancy, especially Ibuprofen, because it can affect the child's health, and especially fertility if it's a girl, as found by a French team of researchers.


Taking pain relievers during pregnancy can affect the health of your child. And not only that, but it can affect fertility if the baby is a girl! This is the conclusion of research done by a team of French researchers led by Séverine Mazaud-Guittot (Inserm, University of Rennes) with ibuprofen, reports Herve Ratel in Science and Avenir.

To demonstrate the link between ibuprofen and female infertility, 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 taking a drug during a mother's pregnancy and the consequences of this treatment on her daughter's reproductive abilities decades later.

However, here is what I will share with you. Several years ago in Atlanta, a female friend of mine told me about this. She was having some type of an infection and we stopped to buy medication from a local CVS. She, being a pharmacist herself, adamantly refused to take ibuprofen and told me that she never gave it to her daughters when they were little, exactly for this very reason: so as not to harm their reproductive ability decades later.

Thus, apparently, there is a known link between ibuprofen and female fertility. Ibuprofen was NOT recommended during pregnancy even in this article, published by eMaxHealth in 2013 and discussing Motrin vs. Advil uses, but appears to be safe while breastfeeding as it is not excreted in breast milk.

There is the risk of miscarriage too. Miscarriage is tied to use of nonaspirin anti-inflammatory drugs. In that article, Dr. Anick Berard, from the University of Montreal, one of the study's co-authors said: "We consistently saw that the risk of having a spontaneous abortion was associated with gestational use of Diclofenac, naproxen, celecoxib, ibuprofen and rofecoxib alone or in combination, suggesting a class effect."

Referring to NSAIDS (pain relievers) this article on WebMD says, "doctors need to advise women to stop taking these drugs if they want to be fertile."

What About Ibuprofen and Boys?

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Studies on boys also clearly showed the harmful effects of pain relievers, causing the non-descent of the testicles or a malformation of the urethra. But in the girl's case, they had to do it the way described above.

Only studies on mice or female rats had shown that ibuprofen resulted in a lower stock of reproductive cells, thus reducing the reproduction period. Now, the researchers have to find ways to study 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.

The result, published in the journal Human Reproduction, totally amazed the researchers: "Exposing Ibuprofen to ovaries during the first trimester of pregnancy causes a drastic decrease in the number of germ cells. And this happens from the second day of exposure!"

Avoid NSAIDS During Pregnancy and Don't Self-Medicate

As the researcher points out: "Our work comes to give grist to the current recommendations, very strict and recommends avoiding the consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. The only problem that remains is the problem of self-medication, especially at the very beginning, when the pregnancy is not necessarily known."

Now, researchers are preparing to conduct similar research with another pain reliever, paracetamol, but the difficulty may increase. If the effects observed are spectacular with ibuprofen, they already know that the effects will be less with paracetamol, a lighter pain reliever. This means that the researchers will have to study many more cases.

Please, let us know in the comments section what you think about this study. Have you used ibuprofen or other pain relievers during pregnancy?