Monday, 24 January 2011

Paracetamol - something else that's not safe in pregnancy?

Yes, yet another thing to worry about. 

Should we just toss it on the 'yet-another-study' pile now, before we start?

When I was pregnant my daily diet consisted of paracetamol and 'Rennie Dual Action'. What with the back ache, the sore thighs, aching ribs and all of the other aches and pains you find yourself victim to during pregnancy, surely we need something? I had to abandon, cold turkey style, my best little red friends 'Nurofen Express' (which is brufen and simply not safe) and, let's be honest, sometimes the edge just needs taking away from the pain that is pregnant life.

If you felt at any point that you did 'glow' during pregnancy, then glory be, go and suck your rosy apples and we'll meet you following the terrible twos. I'm STILL waiting for my glow, my rose-tinted cheeks are due to broken capillaries rather than any type of pleasant hormonal experience.

And yet another study bursts our little 'safe haven in pregnancy' bubble. The little relief we had, has now been attacked. Taking 'over the counter' pain killers, including paracetamol (not only ibuprofen and aspirin) during pregnancy has been linked to cryptorchidism in boys. 

In English?

Cryptorchidism is a condition in which either one or sometimes both testes do not descend into the scrotum. This can lead to infertility problems and testicular cancer later in life, as well as the risk of psychological issues. A new study has shown that there is a link between taking mild pain killers during pregnancy (particularly during the second trimester) and development of this condition.

You can read the original article here: REPRODUCTIVE EPIDEMIOLOGY 

Despite this study hitting the news before Christmas, the condition itself isn't a new story. Cryptorchidism has always been a problem for some newborn boys.
A small number of full term baby boys (3%) are born with cryptorchidism, however it is also a problematic condition for prem babies, with  early bairns being ten times more likely (30%) to be born with the condition.*

So what will you be doing? What can you do? It's a far cry from the midwives constantly telling you to tip some paracetamol down your neck every time you report anything as small as an itch in your left toe. Despite this advice that so many of you will have heard, apparently we're meant to avoid taking any medication at all during pregnancy. 

Will I avoid it in future? It's such a rare condition that I'd probably just hope for the best. I stopped drinking, ate healthily and quit smoking when I was pregnant with Kidder. That alone, requires some relief. 

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