Ibuprofen can affect male fertility, study finds
Men who take ibuprofen for longer than the bottle advises could be risking their fertility, according to a new study.
Researchers found that men who took ibuprofen for extended periods had developed a condition normally seen in seniors and smokers that, over time, can lead to fertility problems, according to the new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Scientists analyzed the hormones and blood of a group of 31 healthy white men between 18 and 35 years old over the course of six weeks. Some of the subjects in the study took two doses of over-thecounter ibuprofen every day, while the others were given placebos.
At the end of the study, the men who took ibuprofen had developed compensated hypogonadism, a condition usually associated with smokers, seniors and those with reproductive issues or physical disorders.
The disorder normally occurs when the testes do not produce enough testosterone, so the body boosts production levels of the hormone. While the testosterone levels in the men taking ibuprofen had not changed, researchers found their pituitary glands were boosting testosterone production anyway, inducing the compensated hypogonadism. Long term, it can lead to a more serious condition called overt primary hypogonadism, which is characterized by low testosterone and libido, depressed mood and reduced muscle mass and strength.
Ibuprofen has also been linked to increased risk of heart attacks or stroke in those who take it long term.