When we have a fever, a headache, or any other bodily pain, we typically will take a drug like Ibuprofen to help solve the problem. But now, a new study has revealed that Ibuprofen may be doing a lot of harm in terms of fertility.
According to CNN, a new study says Ibuprofen may actually have a negative impact on young men’s testicles. The study found that when Ibuprofen is taken in small doses, some young men may be at risk of developing a hormonal condition related to reduced fertility.
Mike Tringale, a spokesperson for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, told CNN their group “supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines. The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use.”
During the study, Bernard Jegou and a team of researchers found when a woman takes Ibuprofen during pregnancy that the testicles of male babies were affected. The drug is known as “anti-androgenic,” which means it disrupts the male hormones. Researchers say that Aspirin, acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen were all found to increase the likelihood that boy babies would have congenital malformations when they were born. Since the researchers knew this about babies, they wondered what would happen to an older male.
A couple ages 29 to 33 with a functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving a child. As a result, many couples want to do everything they can to maximize their chances of getting pregnant.
The team recruited 31 men between the ages of 18 and 35 and gave 14 of them daily doses of Ibuprofen. The remaining 17 men were given a placebo. Within 14 days of taking the Ibuprofen, the men’s luteinizing hormones coordinated with the amount of Ibuprofen circulating in their bloodstream. According to Bel Marra Health, researchers also found that their luteinizing hormones decreased during that time, which is a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
The imbalance in hormones produced a condition called compensated hypogonadism, which is associated with depression, increased risk for cardiovascular events, and impaired fertility. Of course, the study’s sample size was extremely small, and countless men and women regularly take drugs like Ibuprofen without incident.