Are you in your childbearing years, thinking you'll have children and maybe grandchildren someday? Also, did you recently take something for a headache or your twisted ankle? Well, listen up because the two might be more related than you might think.
A study published Feb. 2, 2018 in the journal Human Reproduction finds that taking the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen in the first three months of a pregnancy might seriously impair the fertility of a woman's yet-unborn daughter.
"Baby girls are born with a finite number of follicles in their ovaries and this defines their future reproductive capacity as adults," said lead author Dr. Séverine Mazaud-Guittot, a researcher at INSERM in Rennes, France, in a 2018 press release. "A poorly stocked initial reserve will result in a shortened reproductive life span, early menopause or infertility — all events that occur decades later in life."
The researchers found that exposure to ibuprofen halved the number ovarian germ cells found in the fetal tissue of an unborn baby girl, compared to that of a fetus that had not been exposed to the drug.
"We found there were fewer cells growing and dividing, more cells dying and a dramatic loss of germ cell numbers, regardless of the gestational age of the foetus," Mazaud-Guittot said. "There were significant effects after seven days of exposure to 10 μM [micromolars] of ibuprofen, and we saw cell death as early as after two days of treatment. Five days after withdrawing ibuprofen, these harmful effects of ibuprofen were not fully reversed."