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Ibuprofen and pregnancy

A recent study published in the Journal of Human Reproduction has revealed a possible link between exposure to the pain killer ibuprofen during the first trimester and the effect on ovarian germ cells in the developing foetus, reducing the ovarian egg reserve of the daughter and therefore potentially her fertility as she gets older.

Researchers have found the first evidence in human ovarian tissue that exposure to the popular pain killer can significantly reduce the ovarian reserve in the ovaries of the pregnant mothers’ daughter. Researchers found that Ibuprofen can cross the placental barrier and is exposed to the same concentration as the mother.

French scientists revealed that foetal tissue that was exposed to concentrations of 10um (micromolar) of ibuprofen for a week had almost half the number of ovarian germ cells, and more troublingly, after five days of withdrawing the ibuprofen, the harmful effects were not fully reversed.

While the current guidelines recommend that pregnant women not take Ibuprofen after the 24-week stage of their pregnancy due to the risks of foetal malformations, there is now concern that it is not safe to take in the early weeks either.

The findings have revealed the urgent need to establish more investigations into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of foetal ovary development that could potentially be affected by ibuprofen.