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Scientific study suggests ibuprofen linked to male infertility

12 January 2018

Danish researchers studied men aged between 18 and 35 who had no fertility problems before the research.

According to Dr. Bernard Jégou, coauthor of the study and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, it is highly likely the effects of taking ibuprofen will be reversible for the 14 men in the study who experienced hormone disruptions.

Participants were split into two groups, with 14 receiving 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day two weeks before and 30 days after an exercise session, and the other acting as a control.

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The condition is normally seen in older men and smokers, and is caused by the body having to boost testosterone levels because normal production in the testes is insufficient.

Dr Kristensen added: "These drugs are so common in modern society, that many people take them for granted".

Even though this was a small study and further research is needed, the findings are important because ibuprofen is one of the most widely-used medications, Erma Drobnis, an associate professional practice professor of reproductive medicine and fertility at the University of Missouri, Columbia, told CNN. Last year, scientists discovered sperm counts in western countries had plummeted by 50 percent in 40 years, and while the reasons behind the decline are complex, many researchers say the phenomenon is due to men's hormones being disrupted. Luckily, in the test subjects the condition was mild, but the researchers said people should be concerned if they use anti-inflammatory drugs regularly over long periods of time.

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"The major concern is of course male fertility and how it is affected by chronic use". This eventually lead to infertility or "hypogonadism" and other associated conditions such as increased risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and depression. So, for the time being, I would urge men who need to take ibuprofen to continue to do so.

The author of the study points to the fact that a flawless result of the study has not been derived yet which can successfully explain the effects of long-term, constant as well as high-dosage exposure of ibuprofen on the body. It is worth noting that the study is actually a continuation of research looking into the effects of pain relievers on pregnant women.

Previous studies have found that the use of drugs containing aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen during pregnancy causes deformation in testicles of babies. This amount was used to represent the dose taken by athletes to manage pain.

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Scientific study suggests ibuprofen linked to male infertility