Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study

Ebony Scott
January 10, 2018

"Ibuprofen works really well as a painkiller and fever-reducing medicine, so there are of course a number of cases where taking it is sensible", he says.

Scientists warn that ibuprofen could be wrecking men's fertility by making their balls shrivel up.

Researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, noting that consumption of ibuprofen resulted in "compensated hypogonadism", a condition in which men have normal levels of testosterone but higher levels of the luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the production of testosterone, The International Study for Sexual Medicine said. Tests showed their testosterone levels hadn't changed, although the testes weren't producing adequate levels.

Those who took the ibuprofen were more likely to have indications of testicular problems - including a condition called compensated hypogonadism that affects reproductive health - meaning men are less likely to be able to father a child. After 14 days of ibuprofen use, the researchers observed higher blood levels of luteinizing hormone, which regulates the production of testosterone and other hormones.

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Researchers conducted a relatively small study that included men aged 18 to 35 and found that those who used the common over-the-counter drug developed hormonal imbalances that can cause a reduction in fertility, CBS news reported. "Based on these data, I personally would be very reluctant to take ibuprofen for longer than the 10 days normally indicated on the packet". Fourteen of the men took two 600-milligram doses of ibuprofen per day for six weeks - an amount consistent with what many athletes take to manage aches and pains - while the remaining 17 took placebo pills.

"It is also associated with depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke".

The study comes as several studies show that infertility rates are on the rise in several areas of the world. Long term, it can lead to a more serious condition called overt primary hypogonadism, which is characterized by low testosterone and libido, depressed mood and reduced muscle mass and strength. The consistency of the results, however, as well as the earlier epidemiological results, suggest that there might really be an issue here.

According to a new study, prolonged use may decrease the testes' ability to produce testosterone.

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