Taking paracetamol in pregnancy could reduce fertility in female children, scientists have said.
Edinburgh University researchers tested paracetamol and a prescription-only painkiller called indomethacin on pregnant rats. Female offspring had fewer eggs, smaller ovaries and smaller litters than those not given drugs. Male offspring had smaller numbers of cells that give rise to sperm, but their reproductive function recovered, the study – published in the Scientific Reports journal – found.
Researchers called the findings significant given the similarities between the reproductive systems of rats and humans, but said it is difficult to directly compare the results.