Use of paracetamol during pregnancy may harm male fetus

Pregnant mother feeling unwell

Taking the painkiller paracetamol in pregnancy for a week or more could potentially have effects on a developing male fetus, according to research.

Paracetamol is the painkiller considered safest for pregnant women. However, researchers investigating reproductive defects in baby boys such as undescended testes say there may be a link between low levels of testosterone and paracetamol intake.

There is no reason to think that taking the painkillers for a day could cause any problem, they say – but a study involving a mouse model, grafted with human tissue and given hormones to imitate the state of pregnancy, found the drug lowered testosterone levels over the course of a week.
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