Scary new study links ibuprofen to infertility

Brandon Parsons
January 10, 2018

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.

Scientists warn that ibuprofen could be wrecking men's fertility by making their balls shrivel up.

The small study, which was published yesterday (Jan. 8) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that men who took 1,200 milligrams of ibuprofen a day for six weeks developed a hormonal condition that is linked with reproductive problems.

The disorder normally occurs when the testes do not produce enough testosterone, so the body boosts production levels of the hormone.

Results showed that ibuprofen use led to an elevation of luteinizing hormone (LH) and a decreased testosterone/LH ratio, which is routinely used as a marker of testicular Leydig cell function.

Male infertility has been called a crisis, and a new report that a common, over-the-counter medication could spur the problem adds to the alarm.

"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".

However, in recent years, ibuprofen in particular has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, meaning we should be more cautious when taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

The researchers found that, compared with the placebo group, the men who took ibuprofen experienced a 23 percent increase in levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) - a hormone that's secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulates the production of testosterone - after two weeks.

'Several studies have shown mild analgesics exposure during foetal life is associated with anti-androgenic effects and congenital malformations.

According to a new study, prolonged use may decrease the testes' ability to produce testosterone. So not only is the shrinking of your balls concerning on a personal level, it could also suggest you're going to die earlier.

Based on the results, researchers don't recommend taking ibuprofen for longer than the 10 days it says on the packet. But researchers are concerned about long-term use among athletes. "Taken together, these in vivo data suggest that ibuprofen induced a state of compensated hypogonadism during the trial..." the study states.

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