How High Doses of Ibuprofen May Impact Male Infertility

Kenny Tucker
January 12, 2018

Though the exact reasons for the decline are not yet known; in a recent study, researchers have linked male infertility to Ibuprofen - a common painkiller.

What did change was the testosterone to LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) ratio.

A new study suggests that some men who regularly take the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen could be doing serious damage to their testicles, or at least the stuff stored inside them, CNN reported Tuesday. (The rest of the volunteers were given a placebo.) Within two weeks, the group of 14 had developed compensated hypogonadism, which along with lowered fertility is also associated with depression, heart failure and stroke.

They fear long-term use may be to blame for rising levels of infertility.

One of the most commonly used drugs to get relief from pain is ibuprofen.

While taking ibuprofen for short-term aches and pains poses no problem, the research team warned against using the painkiller for months at a time unless absolutely necessary.

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Professor Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield stated that ibuprofen uses for a long-term goal can affect the hormonal production in males.

Jégou said, in these men these hormonal imbalances would be reversible as it was given for a short period of time.

"The study shows that ibuprofen use results in selective transcriptional repression of endocrine cells in the human testis", the significance on the PNAS site reads.

Participants were split into two groups, with 14 receiving 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day two weeks before and 30 days after an exercise session, and the other acting as a control. The highlighted cardiac and hormonal disruption risks point toward the need to be cautious with such medications, and anyone who is concerned should talk to their doctor about it before taking the medication.

"This comprehensive meta-regression analysis reports a significant decline in sperm counts (as measured by SC and TSC) between 1973 and 2011, driven by a 50-60% decline among men unselected by fertility from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand". The findings are newly published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, it remains unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible, he said.

He added: 'Hitherto, 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.

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