How High Doses of Ibuprofen May Impact Male Infertility

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Testicles are most commonly associated with the production of sperm, and it's true that that is their primary role.

The painkiller does not affect testosterone directly - but sex hormones that regulate testosterone's production. The drop in testosterone can cause testicles to shrink, as well as making it more hard to get someone pregnant. Ibuprofen has been shown to damage male fertility in athletes who regularly take the meds to manage pain, reported CNN.

There has been research recently that shows that infertility among men in general is growing. It also brings fertility problem in women.

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

Data from almost 450,000 patients has linked five forms of painkillers - ibuprofen, celecoxib, diclofenac, naproxen, and rofecoxib - to heart problems.

"People taking over-the-counter ibuprofen should not be concerned by this research". Men were then divided - 14 in an ibuprofen group, 17 in a placebo group.

Separate experiments in the study using human testicular tissue in a lab dish also suggested that ibuprofen could affect testosterone production.

At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinising hormones decreased, which is a sign of dysfunctional testicles. USA Today reports about a study in Human Reproduction Update that found total sperm-count among men in Western continents reduced nearly 60% over the past 40 years.


Erma Drobnis, a University of Missouri professor who wasn't part of the study, told CNN that the study was small but valuable, especially since medical professionals rarely tell men about the possible reproductive side effects of these or other medications.

Bernard Jégou, co-author and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, said the short-term effects in males are reversible but it is not known if the long-term effects are reversible.

The best way to address a low testosterone level is with artificial hormones.

Typically seen in older men and smokers, the condition describes when the testes produce an insufficient amount of testosterone. The findings point out to the fertility issues in men due to prolonged consumption of this drug to reduce pain.

According to a separate study, at least 30 million men around the world are infertile, and of the 48.5 million couples that are impacted by infertility, 20-30 percent are reportedly to be found "solely responsible".

Read through our gallery on erectile dysfunction and the possible causes.

Overuse of ibuprofen could also lead to full-blown hypogonadism- or low testosterone levels - which has been linked to premature death.

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