Taking painkillers during pregnancy could affect the fertility of the unborn child in later life, research suggests.
The study identifies that these drugs may also affect the fertility of future generations, by leaving marks on DNA.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that certain medicines, including paracetamol, should be used with caution during pregnancy.
Researchers stress that advice for pregnant women remains unchanged. Current guidelines say that, if necessary, paracetamol—also known as acetaminophen—should be used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time. Ibuprofen should be avoided during pregnancy.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh looked at the effects of paracetamol and ibuprofen on samples of human fetal testes and ovaries. They found similar effects using several different experimental approaches, including lab tests on human tissue samples and animal studies.