Ibuprofen male infertility issue joins cardiac risk as painkiller concerns grow


The "In vivo" (inside the living body) experiment involved 31 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 who had their blood testosterone levels measured by the researchers. 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.

Taking a common painkiller can disrupt men's hormones and cause a disorder associated with impaired fertility, CNN reports.

"T$3 he alarm has been raised now", one of the team, Bernard Jégou from the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France told CNN.

The problem ranges worldwide: The World Health Organization says that one of every four couples spends at least five years unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. A growing number of studies shed light on concerning health issues that may arise from NSAIDs and ibuprofen in particular.

Jegou said the findings do not in any way discourage the use of ibuprofen when it is needed.

"These compounds are good painkillers, but a certain amount of people in society use them without thinking of them as proper medicines", he added.

"For men, it is important their testosterone level remains at a stable level".

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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.

"So the take home message is do not abuse them, and take the smallest dose for the shortest period of time".

The popular over-the-counter painkiller ibuprofen widely used for aches and pains could make young men infertile by shrinking their testicles, scientists warn.

A new study published in the Proceedings of of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday suggests that heavy usage of ibuprofen "alters human testicular physiology" and causes a disorder called compensated hypogonadism.

"People taking over-the-counter ibuprofen should not be concerned by this research". But, don't worry, if you just want to boring the pain of a minor ankle sprain for a week or two, Jégou says, "it is sure that these effects are reversible". As the study authors note, it's unclear whether constant, long-term, and high-dose use of ibuprofen could have more lasting changes on male hormones.

"But no direct effect on fertility was shown, but the results of this initial study suggest that it warrants further investigation".