New Research Shows Ibuprofen May Effect Fertility In Men

Alicia Farmer
January 12, 2018

"These are the first-ever results to show a link between ibuprofen and fertility", Bernard Jegou, a senior scientist at the French Medical Research Council and the school of public health at the Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health in France, who coordinated the study, told The Telegraph.

They fear long-term use may be to blame for rising levels of infertility. With testosterone and luteinizing hormones out of whack, the subjects in the trial taking the ibuprofen developed a form of "hypogonadism", which is usually prevalent in older men and is associated with male infertility and other health effects, including fatigue and depression.

To find out, researchers recruited 31 male participants aged between 18 and 35, giving half of them a moderate dose (600 milligrams, equivalent to three tablets) of the drug daily for six weeks, while the other group took a placebo.

"Our immediate concern is for the fertility of men who use these drugs for a long time", researcher David Møbjerg Kristensen from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark told The Guardian.

Before now, he says, "most warnings regarding this family of painkillers have focused on limiting long-term use in the elderly to prevent gastrointestinal, renal and cardiac adverse effects".

There are some users of ibuprofen, and many of them can be men. Testosterone and estrogen are present in both men and women, but testosterone levels are much higher in men while estrogen is higher in women.

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In March of previous year Jiri Dvorak, Fifa's former chief medical officer, warned of an "alarming trend" among elite football players to "abuse" legal painkillers such as ibuprofen.

Researchers looked at 31 male participants and found that taking ibuprofen reduced production of testosterone by almost a quarter in the space of around six weeks.

However, because the study is small, more research is needed to confirm the results.

What did change was the testosterone to LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) ratio. So, for the time being, I would urge men who need to take ibuprofen to continue to do so.

The good news is that the problems required multiple weeks of constant ibuprofen use, so there's no indication that handling the odd muscle ache or hangover with ibuprofen will cause problems.

Ibuprofen is one the most well-known pain medications in the West, taken by millions of people every day. Physicians advise taking this medicine with caution, no longer than 10 days in a row.

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