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Painkillers during pregnancy reduce fertility of offspring

Painkillers during pregnancy reduce fertility of offspring

Scientists have discovered that the use of painkillers during pregnancy in rats may reduce the fertility of their offspring.

The study shows that rats who were put on a course of paracetamol or prescription-only drug indomethacin gave birth to female offspring with fewer eggs, smaller ovaries, and who had smaller litters themselves.

The effects of the painkillers were even observed in the subsequent generation – the granddaughters of the initial test subjects were found to have smaller ovaries and altered reproductive function.

Male offspring also suffered the effects at birth showing smaller numbers of cells that give rise to sperm in later life. However, their fertility recovered to normal levels by the time they reached adulthood.

The scientists tested the effects of paracetamol over the course of nine days, and the effects of the indomethacin – a drug from the same class as aspirin and ibuprofen – over the course of four days.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, suggests that the painkillers change the way germ cells (which later differentiate into egg and sperm cells) develop in the womb. These drugs are known to alter hormones known as prostaglandins, which control ovulation, the menstrual cycle and the induction of labour.

Fetal development is slower in humans than it is in rats but these findings still hold significance due to the similarities between our species, said lead author Professor Richard Sharpe from the University of Edinburgh.

He stated: 'It's important to remember that this study was conducted in rats not humans. However, there are many similarities between the two reproductive systems. We now need to understand how these drugs affect a baby's reproductive development in the womb so that we can further understand their full effect.'

The scientists said women should continue to follow the current NHS guidance around the use of painkillers in pregnancy, which is to take the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Professor Richard Anderson, a co-author of the study, also from the University of Edinburgh, added: 'We now need to explore whether a shorter dose would have a similar effect, and how this information can be usefully translated to human use.'

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New Hope is not a medical facility. We provide only legal services and support throughout your process. Our job is to provide you with a matching surrogate mother and /or egg donor, control her, prepare legal paperwork in compliance with the Ukrainian laws and make everything smooth. We value our reputation and our main task is to protect your interests and represent you on the territory of Ukraine.

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NOTEOnly heterosexual married couples with medical indications for surrogacy are allowed to proceed. Single men/women, same sex marriages are not allowed. IPs must be free from HIV, Hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other diseases.

  • Absence of uterus (congenital or acquired)
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  • Synechia of the uterus that cannot be treated
  • A (severe) physical illness under which pregnancy threatens your life or health even if the child may not be in danger
  • Unsuccessful attempts of assisted reproductive technologies (4 or more).

NOTE Your doctor should indicate one of these reasons in the medical letter so that you will be able to proceed in Ukraine (otherwise the clinic won't accept you to the program). Please, contact us for more information if you have any questions regarding this report.

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