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Junk foodAccording to The Los Angeles Times taking mild painkilllers such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester, can cause a sharp increase in reproductive problems in male offspring, researchers from Denmark, Finland and France reported Monday. The team found that women who used two of the drugs simultaneously during the second trimester were as much as 16 times as likely to bear a son with undescended testicles, a condition known as cryptorchidism. Cryptorchidism is known to be a risk factor for poor semen quality and testicular germ cell cancer in later life.  The researchers demonstrated in rats that the drugs block the production of testosterone, which is necessary for the formation of male sex organs.

Reproductive biologist Henrik Lefferts of the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues questioned 834 pregnant women in Denmark and 1,463 in Finland about their medication use, then examined their sons at birth. The Danish women received only a written questionnaire, while the Finnish women received both a written questionnaire and a phone interview. The women were more likely to say they had taken the painkillers in the phone interview, apparently not considering them to really be “medications.”

The team found that women who used more than one painkiller simultaneously had a seven-fold increase in risk of having a son with cryporchidism compared with women who took nothing.

While this report highlights the dangers of aspirin and aspirin containing products, Dr. O’Toole highlights the risk for patients considering surgery. Patients preparing for surgery are instructed to avoid aspirin and aspirin containing products for  a minimum of three weeks. Aspirin thins the blood and can cause complications, especially in facelift, or other facial rejuvenation surgeries. Patients were scheduled for injectables are also instructed to avoid aspirin and aspirin containing products prior to surgery.

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