Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility in study

At the end of the study, the men who took ibuprofen had developed compensated hypogonadism, a condition usually associated with smokers, elderly men and those with reproductive issues or physical disorders.

The Danish and French study looked at 31 athletic men between the ages of 18 and 35.

One group was given 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day while the other group was given a placebo.

Ibuprofen belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, that work by blocking the production of hormone-like signaling molecules called prostaglandins, which theoretically reduces pain and inflammation.

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It has already been linked with fertility problems in women taking the drug.

A study of nearly 1,000 men tracked for seven years found nearly twice as many with testosterone deficiency - or hypogonadism - died as did those with normal levels. When the production of testosterone is low, the pituitary gland synthesizes more LH and FSH, thus signaling the Sertoli and Leydig cells in the testicle to produce more testosterone. After 14 days of ibuprofen use, the researchers observed higher blood levels of luteinizing hormone, which regulates the production of testosterone and other hormones.

He said investigating ibuprofen-induced compensatory hypogonadism is crucial as the disorder is "generally associated with smoking and ageing".

The study of 31 male participants found the administration of ibuprofen reduced production of testosterone by almost a quarter in about six weeks - resulting in compensated hypogonadism.

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As Forbes notes, this is the first study to provide evidence with regards to the negative impact of ibuprofen on testicular physiology.

"However, this is now speculative".

Kevin McEleny, PhD, from the British Fertility Society says: "This was a short-term study and the effects seen on testicular health may be reversible".

To avoid these side-effects, doctors caution against taking Ibuprofen for more longer than ten days in a row, per the FDA's warning. No direct effect on fertility was shown, but the results of this initial study suggest that it warrants further investigation.

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While the effects are not harmful after only two weeks of treatment, it is still unknown what ibuprofen can do long-term.

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