Paracetamol in pregnancy: Fingers pointed against the widespread analgesic

As every parent knows, in the course of pregnancy it is necessary to take a number of precautions to ensure the welfare and proper development of the fetus.

The time spent inside the “bump” is decisive for the health of the unborn and is able to profoundly influence the entire development. The problems that may occur during the delicate and extraordinary process that from single fertilized egg cell door to a new individual (or individuals) are unfortunately many, although confirming the incredible perfection of the human body, then do not occur so often.

A very important chapter covers all substances that are part of our daily lives, but for pregnant women become insidious enemies. The most important are represented by smoking, alcohol and certain categories of drugs. The molecules that are introduced into the body breast with the use of these products, reach the fetus developing through the blood stream, altering the mechanisms of embryo genesis.

paracetamol-in-pregnancy-fingers-pointed-against-the-widespread-analgesic2If giving up cigarettes and alcohol is a very good decision for a woman’s health, it must be said that to completely eliminate the use of medicines is not always easy, especially in a delicate and exhausting time for the body such as the gestation .

The fourth week of pregnancy is a time of crucial importance for the growth of the fetus. Right now, often it coincides with the discovery of pregnant and therefore with the need to take all appropriate action themselves. Some women, following confirmation of the interesting state, may suffer a small shock due to the fear of not knowing what attitude to adopt. Fortunately, today the web is full of guides that explain, step by step, what happens to mothers and babies in this delicate moment of intrauterine development.

Especially when you are very young, to understand the changes that take place inside and outside one’s body can be complicated and can be frightening. For this reason, the information is very important and we believe that every future parent should read up as much as possible in order to know how best to approach any unknown aspect of pregnancy.

Until some time ago, though many anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications were advised, to pregnant women was inspired the use of paracetamol in case of need.

Now, a recent study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine reports, it would seem to highlight the critical series also regarding this molecule, warning pregnant women about the dangers of its use.

Scholars of the University of Edinburgh have focused their interest on the effects of acetaminophen intake can have on the fetus, particularly research into the consequences at the level of the male reproductive organs.

In the course of experimentation, paracetamol was administered to mice in which had been previously implanted in the human testicular tissue, able to mimic that of the developing gonads. The following results were found: although there were no obvious special effects after a single administration, following a week of exposure to the same daily dose, there was a 45% decrease of testosterone produced by the testicular tissue.

This would seem to indicate that this molecule is able to lead to disturbances in endocrinological level in the unborn: testosterone is in fact the principal male hormone, responsible for the correct development of the penis and testicles, thus essential for fertility.

According to that stated in the research, paracetamol can interfere with the correct sexual differentiation, resulting in problems such as cryptorchidism (undescended testicles in the scrotal sac that occurs during the first months of life), can in turn cause infertility, but also certain forms of cancer.

Although it is important to emphasize that the results obtained using as a sample organisms mice are not directly applicable to humans, researchers believe, however to say that the use of paracetamol-based medications should be discouraged when you are expecting a baby.

paracetamol-in-pregnancy-fingers-pointed-against-the-widespread-analgesicHow to cope with this danger?

Paracetamol is a widely used analgesic drugs in the world, precisely because of its tolerability, effectiveness and lack of serious side effects.

It is estimated that in 2014, have been sold 2.8 million medicinal products containing this active ingredient. This data can help you understand what may be the widespread use of this drug.

What to do, then, if you are pregnant? The board is first to consult your doctor or gynecologist, well in advance, when you are planning a pregnancy, or early, when it turns unexpectedly pregnant. This will make it possible to receive all the necessary information and advice on possible alternatives to paracetamol.

It must be said that the hazards identified by scholars seem to occur only in the case of use of important doses of the medicinal product and for quite prolonged periods of time. This means that the occasional use, for example to combat a particularly intense episode of migraine, will not affect the health of the fetus.

Another important factor concerns the fact that the critical moment, in which the acetaminophen can actually play a negative role, is the development of the genitalia, which typically takes place between 8 to 14 and at week. This does not mean that during the other weeks this molecule can not cause damage, however, paying particular attention to the third / fourth month, you can reduce almost to zero the possible side effects.

In conclusion, acetaminophen, as well as ibuprofen, ketoprofen and aspirin, should be avoided by pregnant women, or used only in cases of real need.

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