MotherSafe is a free telephone‐based counselling service for the general public and healthcare providers concerned about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Calls relating to paternal exposures are less common, but can cause distress to the person concerned. This review seeks to identify the key concerns and what information is available to address these concerns.
To review calls made to MotherSafe about paternal exposures to teratogens during the 16 year period, 2000–2015, and to document any patterns or changes in calls over the period.
Materials and methods
A retrospective descriptive assessment of a prospectively collected database (2000–2015) was undertaken. Telephone counselling records identified the drugs of concern regarding paternal exposures. The information about paternal exposures provided in consumer and production information was also reviewed.
Of a total of 253 103 calls received at MotherSafe between 2000 and 2015, 1072 calls (0.4%) were regarding paternal exposures. The majority of these calls related to immunomodifiers (19%), hair loss products (11%) and antidepressant medications.
Paternal exposures represent a small proportion of all the counselling calls made to MotherSafe. The study highlighted the deficient and often misleading information about paternal exposures found in most consumer and product information sheets or via the internet. The study indicates the important role of Teratogen Information Services like Mothersafe in providing evidence‐based information to both consumers and healthcare providers.