Infertility Problems: Men warned to avoid Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen and other painkillers have been identified to have negative effects on fertility.

According to findings from a small study conducted by expert researchers, taking the common painkiller ibuprofen has been linked to other factors responsible for infertility in men.

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The researchers noted that their study was inspired by a decline in male fertility around the world, adding that they wanted to verify how ibuprofen might have contributed to the negative trend.

Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug sold without a prescription for short-term treatment of pain, inflammation from injuries, and fever, is also known to be a causal factor for most heart attacks.

Although some health professionals may recommend longer-term use of the product for patients, this research proves it is a high-level risk. Users are likely to suffer stroke after taking ibuprofen in high doses over a long period of time.

Ibuprofen has also been reported to have links to female fertility problems.

The Danish and French study looked at 31 athletic men between the ages of 18 and 35; half of the group were provided with 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day for 2 weeks even though the maximum recommended dose in the U.S. is 800mg up to four times a day.

A dummy (placebo) tablet was given to the second group, with medical samples taken from all participants before and after the trial for comparison.

According to the researchers, results show that men who took ibuprofen were more likely to have indications of testicular problems, including a condition called compensated hypogonadism, which affects reproductive health.

In other words, all male participants suffered symptoms which could pose problems to their reproductive health. This implies they were less likely to father a child from that condition, which is more common in older men than younger ones.

Advil and Motrin are the most common brands of ibuprofen available in drugstores.

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The landmark study proves that ibuprofen affects the pituitary gland that’s involved in production of the male hormone testosterone, as well as other processes linked to sperm production.

In reaction to the results collated from this medical research, a health expert from Newcastle University in England and the Society for Endocrinology, Richard Quinton (MD) said: “This is a landmark study that elegantly combines clinical and basic research, at both tissue and cellular levels, to show that ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter painkiller, can reversibly hinder testosterone production by testicular cells.”

Quinton earlier said that 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.

“This study should give pause for thought to sportsmen using them routinely for exercise-induced aches and pains,” the health professional added.

Professor Allan Pacey from the University of Sheffield also offered an important piece of advice ibuprofen addicts saying, “The results suggest that long-term use (several weeks) of ibuprofen can affect the production of the male hormone by the testicles. The authors speculate that this could have health implications for such men, given the known links between the disruption of such hormones and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and infertility.

“However, this is currently speculative. So, for the time being, I would urge men who need to take ibuprofen to continue to do so. However, it is recommended that if men (or women) need to take it for more than 3 days consecutively then they should first consult their family doctor.”

“Long-term use of ibuprofen has other negative effects on overall health so people should only be taking it over a period of weeks, months or years if a doctor has prescribed it,” warns Kevin McEleny, PhD, from the British Fertility Society.

Kevin continued, “This was a short-term study and the effects seen on testicular health may be reversible. No direct effect on fertility was shown, but the results of this initial study suggest that it warrants further investigation.”