Regular Ibuprofen Use May Contribute to Male Infertility, Study Says


Epidemiological studies have shown that NSAID exposure was associated with reduced testosterone and congenital malformations; another study showed a drop in a testosterone metabolite among men who were taking ibuprofen regularly.

However, Kristensen emphasises that despite the results of the study, men should not stop taking the drug.

While it is important to note that this was a small study and more research is clearly called for, the fact that ibuprofen is so widely and casually used by so many men makes it a point of concern, particularly for those who intend to start a family. Research released in February 2017 also found that it could increase the risk of heart attacks.

The study involved 31 men (ages 18 to 35) who were randomly assigned to take ibuprofen (two doses of 600 mg each) or a placebo every day for six weeks. 17 men were given a daily dose of 1200mg if ibuprofen. After 14 days of ibuprofen use, the researchers observed higher blood levels of luteinizing hormone, which regulates the production of testosterone and other hormones.

The study comes as several studies show that infertility rates are on the rise in several areas of the world.

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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".

In addition to producing sperm, testicles secrete testosterone, the primary male hormone.

"However, this is now speculative". Before he stepped down in November 2016 he asked players about their use of over-the-counter painkillers and found that almost half of those who played in the past three World Cups took anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, every day. "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". But they said they were anxious about the effect of ibuprofen on the fertility of long-term users, such as athletes. The bad news is the ibuprofen is one of a large class of related drugs that includes aspirin, and the likelihood that other drugs will have similar effects is high.

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.