Painkillers in pregnancy linked to male reproductive disorders: study
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Use of mild painkillers such as acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen during pregnancy may partly account for a sharp increase in male reproductive disorders in recent decades, according to a study published on Monday.
The research found that women who took a combination of more than one mild analgesic during pregnancy had an increased risk of giving birth to sons with undescended testicles.
This condition, called cryptorchidism, is known to be a risk factor for poor semen quality and a greater risk of testicular cancer. The study found that the risk of cryptorchidism was especially increased during the second trimester, the fourth to sixth months of pregnancy.
The researchers from Finland, Denmark and France, whose work was published in the Human Reproduction journal, said more studies were urgently needed and advice to pregnant women on use of painkillers should be reconsidered.
"Women may want to try to reduce their analgesic use during pregnancy," said Henrik Leffers of Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet, who led the research. "However, as biologists this is not something we can advise women about. So we recommend that pregnant women seek advice from their physician."
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