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Ibuprofen Use Linked To Fertility Problems In Men, New Study Finds

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Ibuprofen has long been a widely-used medication for pain relief but new study suggests that one of its side effects is infertility in men. Male athletes commonly take the drug in high dosage but it can somehow change the physiology of testicles, which consequently lowers male fertility.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that frequent and heavy usage of the daily pain reliever specifically “alters human testicular physiology” that will result to a hormonal imbalance called compensated hypogonadism.

The new study found that with continued ibuprofen use, levels of testosterone-producing hormones dropped.

Compensated hypogonadism is also linked to strokes and depression, according to study authors.

To arrive at their findings, researchers in France and Denmark conducted trials involving 31 adult men under 35. Some of study participants took 1,200 mg of ibuprofen daily for six weeks and the others took a placebo. In two weeks, it was found that the group that took ibuprofen daily developed the hormonal imbalance linked to infertility, which is a condition that typically begins in middle age.

There are different factors that cause male infertility and these include genetic and hormonal disorders, weight, drugs, and alcohol use, age, smoking, environmental toxins, and trauma. This study may be small but this is the first in-depth study done to see how pain relievers affect the endocrine system.

There has been an increase in use of ibuprofen among professional athletes.

Researchers say that they have taken interest in studying the effects of ibuprofen because its use has increased among athletes all over the world. The study also serves as a continuation of previous studies involving pregnant women with mild exposure to ibuprofen. It found that fetuses exposed to ibuprofen had increased risk of testosterone blockages, inherited medical conditions, and changes in the male babies’ testicles.

The effects of daily use of ibuprofen are likely reversible among the participants, according to researchers. However, more research is needed to better understand how long-term ibuprofen use can affect users in bigger populations.

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