Ibupro­fen can af­fect male fer­til­ity, study finds

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NEWS - By Heather Doyle News­day

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.

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