New research, conducted by Danish scientists and published in the journal Reproduction, claims that male babies exposed to the painkillers developed to have a smaller number of neurons in the areas of the brain connection to masculinity and sexual behaviours.
This in turn suggested that they would grow up to be less sexually active, “less manly” (as some publications went as far to report) and experience reduced levels of testosterone.
The findings follow previous results from the same teams that suggested prenatal use of the drug jeopardised the fertility of female babies.
Academics are questioning the controversial findings.
But before you swear off the painkillers for good, academics and fellow scientists have swooped in to dispute the findings, saying that the dosages administered in the trials were too high, and far too regular.
As BuzzFeed reports, the scientists gave the mice around three times the daily recommended dose for humans… for a whopping two-thirds of their whole pregnancy.
It's the equivalent of taking a triple dose every day for six months.
^That’s one unrelenting headache.
Despite the new findings, the NHS (National Health Service) stands by their advice that it is safe for expectant mothers to consume paracetamol for pain and fever relief should they receive the all-clear from their doctor or midwife first.
“Paracetamol has been used routinely during all stages of pregnancy to reduce a high temperature and for pain relief. There is no clear evidence that it has any harmful effects on an unborn baby,” the information page reads.
“However, as with any medicine taken during pregnancy, use paracetamol at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.”
As you were, ladies.