Ibuprofen can cause male infertility

Toni Houston
January 10, 2018

Bernard J├ęgou, a senior author on the study at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, said that he believes that there is no problem in people taking ibuprofen to alleviate pain in the short term but he warns against taking the drug for months on end if it was not absolutely necessary.

In addition to producing sperm, testicles secrete testosterone, the primary male hormone.

This is a problem, as the function of LH is to stimulate the production of testosterone, and not to significantly surpass testosterone levels.

The team of investigators from Denmark, France and China found that within two week these men had an elevated risk of compensated hypogonadism, "a condition prevalent among elderly men and associated with reproductive and physical disorders", researchers note.

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.

Next, the researchers tested the direct effect of ibuprofen on testicles, using samples that had been taken from organ donors.


Men who take ibuprofen for longer than the bottle advises could be risking their fertility, according to a new study.

'Concern has been raised over increased male reproductive disorders in the Western world and the disruption of male hormones has been suggested to play a central role. According to a recent study, however, regular consumption of the drug could lead to several side-effects, including male sterility.

The good news is that the problems required multiple weeks of constant ibuprofen use, so there's no indication that handling the odd muscle ache or hangover with ibuprofen will cause problems. Inhibition of testosterone levels was found to be significant and dose-dependent after 24 and 48 hours of ibuprofen exposure (in doses which corresponded to the oral doses used in the trial).

On its own, a study this small would be little more than a call to do more detailed studies. So not only is the shrinking of your balls concerning on a personal level, it could also suggest you're going to die earlier. But researchers are concerned about long-term use among athletes.

A study of nearly 1,000 men tracked for seven years found that twice as many with hypogonadism died as did those with normal testosterone levels.

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