Male infertility among many side effects linked to ibuprofen

10 January, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • REX  Shutterstock

The human brain compensates for testosterone deficiency by producing luteinizing hormone (LH), which sends a signal to the testicles to produce more testosterone.

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

The men who took ibuprofen during that time had a condition called compensated hypogonadism, which can lead to fertility issues and erectile dysfunction, according to the study.

The disorder normally occurs when the testes do not produce enough testosterone, so the body boosts production levels of the hormone.

Researchers told CNN that, while these effects were reversible, they were unsure of whether there were long-term health effects associated with the prolonged use of ibuprofen.


Researchers found that young men who took ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes developed a hormonal condition linked to reduced fertility. The bad news is the ibuprofen is one of a large class of related drugs that includes aspirin, and the likelihood that other drugs will have similar effects is high.

Half the group took 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day - the maximum recommended dose in the U.S.is 800mg up to four times a day - for 2 weeks. After 44 days, levels were even higher.

Now, before you panic, there's no suggestion yet that occasionally relying on an ibuprofen will make your balls shrivel up and die.

'Therefore it is also of concern that men with compensated hypogonadism may eventually progress to overt primary hypogonadism, which is characterised by low circulating testosterone and prevalent symptoms including reduced libido, reduced muscle mass and strength, and depressed mood and fatigue'. So not only is the shrinking of your balls concerning on a personal level, it could also suggest you're going to die earlier. The authors speculate that this could have health implications for such men, given the known links between the disruption of such hormones and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and infertility.

The finding comes after repeated warnings from other researchers that ibuprofen can raise the risk of heart attacks in the general population and cause medical problems for pregnant women and their babies, including a more than doubling of the risk of miscarriage.

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