Prenatal Acetaminophen and Masculinity
Everyone – even the healthiest individual can get sick occasionally. Getting sick doesn’t always indicate poor immunity!! In fact, it is believed that falling sick seldom is better for you as it helps in releasing toxins or heat from your body.
We don’t consult doctors every time we get sick especially if it is minor cold, flu or headache. Rather we prefer self- medication by consuming over-the-counter drugs or taking previously prescribed medicines by doctor for another indication. Although sometimes dangerous, self-medication is the best solution for simple and minor ailments and most common over-the-counter drug used in US for minor ailments is,Tylenol or Paracetamol.
This drug group is considered as the best way to get away with minor illnesses. Most people in the US treat their cold, flu and headache with Tylenol. These medications contain an active ingredient called Acetaminophen which acts as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory agent that reduces fever. But according to a new study, excessive use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is associated with varying degree of side effects.
Acetaminophen during pregnancy – what should you know about it?
Do you think that self-medication is safe during pregnancy?? The answer is NO. You should not take any medication in pregnancy until and unless it is prescribed by your gynecologist. However, many women believe that Acetaminophen is safe during pregnancy. But did you know that according to a new study, Acetaminophen use during pregnancy can permanently affect the health of your fetus. This is especially true for male babies who may have compromised masculinity if their mothers repeatedly consume Acetaminophen during gestational period.
Impact of Parental Acetaminophen:
Various studies and research work have been conducted in order to analyze the impact of Acetaminophen on masculinity.
A recent research published in the journal Reproduction, examines the Acetaminophen impact on pregnant women, via studies on the mouse fetuses. The results implied that:
- Acetaminophen consumption during pregnancy leads to long term complications in male fetuses.
- It also exerts negative effects on the male masculinity.
The research shows that acetaminophen represses the development of testosterone in male fetuses if consumed during pregnancy. It impacts the male reproductive system. As you know testosterone is a key male hormone that is responsible for developing all manly characteristics in men, such as facial and body hairs, enhancing sex drive, development of bone and muscle mass, sperm production and RBCs etc. So, by suppressing natural testosterone levels, acetaminophen can greatly impact male masculinity!!
Another research based on the impact of acetaminophen on pregnant women indicates that it represses testosterone levels that may result in wide range of abnormalities in the newborn’s testicles. Besides this many other complications may also arise due to suppressed testosterone levels that results in behavioral changes in males in later ages.
Acetaminophen inhibits masculinity:
Another study conducted by professor Andres Hay Schmidt, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at University of Denmark, suggested that acetaminophen causes impediment in male masculinity.
In order to test this, an experiment was conducted on the pregnant mice by giving them acetaminophen in exactly the same dose that is consumed by pregnant women. Afterward the behavior of male mouse is analyzed by researchers; especially in terms of:
- Their aggressiveness towards other males.
- Ability in marking territory.
- The ability to mate.
The analysis indicates that after becoming an adult the behavior of mice born to mothers with high Acetaminophen use was worse in all of the above criterion.
- Urinary behavior.
- Reduced ejaculation.
- The neurons in the brain that control sex drive has also been decreased.
- The spot in brain (also known as sexually dimorphic nucleus on the anterior hypothalamus) also shows reduce (almost half) neurotic activity.
The above study indicates that acetaminophen not only exert poor impact on testosterone levels but also reduce sex drive and libido in male babies born to Acetaminophen consuming mothers.
So, all the pregnant women should take extreme caution before taking any medicine during pregnancy because all biochemical substances have some side effects. You should consult your doctor before taking any pill to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby.