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Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Ibuprofen may increase risk of fertility issues in men, study suggests

Ibuprofen may increase risk of fertility issues in men, study suggests

Researchers recruited 31 healthy young men (18 to 35 years old) to take part in the study.

"Our immediate concern is for the fertility of men who use these drugs for a long time", said David Møbjerg Kristensen at the University of Copenhagen.

The Danish research team warned: "Ibuprofen appears to be the preferred pharmaceutical analgesic for long-term chronic pain and arthritis".

Researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, noting that consumption of ibuprofen resulted in "compensated hypogonadism", a condition in which men have normal levels of testosterone but higher levels of the luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the production of testosterone, The International Study for Sexual Medicine said. This would lead to continuously low levels of testosterone, because the body could no longer compensate for the fall. That works out to three ibuprofen tablets per day if you're taking a typical 200mg/tablet product. Sold under the brand names Advil or Motrin, ibuprofen is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Pregnant women are increasingly advised to avoid ibuprofen during late pregnancy because it has been associated with increased complications for both mother and baby, including decreased amniotic fluid and potential heart problems in the baby. Before he stepped down in November 2016 he asked players about their use of over-the-counter painkillers and found that almost half of those who played in the past three World Cups took anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, every day.

Such a condition is the result of the body increasing testosterone production because the testes stop producing adequate levels of it. The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.

While "it is sure" that the hormonal effects in the study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time are reversible, it's unknown whether this is true after long-term ibuprofen use, study co-author Bernard Jegou, director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, told CNN.

But the amount and frequency of ibuprofen use in the study is fairly atypical-the maximum recommended dosage of 1,200 milligrams per day every day for two weeks.

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 effect was apparent at two weeks and became more pronounced after six weeks of ibuprofen use.

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