Paracetamol during pregnancy: harmful effects on the fetus

According to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, taking paracetamol during pregnancy could have an impact on the libido of unborn children. Explanations.

Decline in sexual desire in adulthood

During pregnancy, it is recommended that the mother-to-be prefer paracetamol to ibuprofen, because the side effects of the first molecule would be much less harmful for the fetus in particular. But we learn today, in a study published in the scientific journal Reproduction , that little boys exposed in utero to paracetamol could suffer from a drop in their sexual desire in adulthood.

These effects would only affect male babies. According to the authors of this work, paracetamol could modify neurobehavioral programming which “  would inhibit adult sexual behavior  ”. Numerous studies had already shown that excessive consumption of this analgesic could damage the liver or the kidneys , but this is the first time that we have learned that there is a risk for the baby’s libido.

Less libido in male rodents

To reach this conclusion, the researchers administered paracetamol to pregnant mice. They were thus able to observe that male rodents , which had been exposed to the molecule during pregnancy, ejaculated less in adulthood during mating and this had a direct effect on their reproduction. Looking for the cause of this low libido, the researchers found differences in the brains of the mice.

Mice that had been exposed to paracetamol in their mothers’ wombs had fewer neurons in the area of ​​the brain that controls sexual desire , the sexual dimorphic nucleus. If these results must be confirmed by new studies, they remind us that no medicine can be taken lightly, especially during pregnancy. If in doubt during your pregnancy, ask your doctor for advice.

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