Evidence from rodents indicates that analgesic use in pregnancy can impair the offspring’s future reproductive capacity.
In a paper in Human Reproduction (2 February 2018), researchers studied 185 ovarian samples from human foetuses at weeks 7–12 of development, and exposed them to ibuprofen at a range of concentrations (from 1–100Î¼M) for 2, 4 or 7 days
The researchers also measured ibuprofen levels in umbilical cord blood and showed that placental transfer of ibuprofen occurs as early as in the first trimester.
Exposure to 10Î¼M and 100Î¼M ibuprofen resulted in a number of effects indicating impaired ovarian development, including reduced cell number, fewer proliferating cells, increased cell death and dramatic loss of germ cells. At 10Î¼M ibuprofen, cell death was observed after just two days.
The results indicate that ibuprofen consumption could have a deleterious effect on foetal ovaries in the first trimester of pregnancy. Given that ibuprofen is currently only contraindicated from week 24 of pregnancy, there is an urgent need for further investigations, the team concluded.