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Ibuprofen may cause fertility problems in men, erectile dysfunction: Report

It has been found that long periods of consumption of Ibuprofen tablets can affect the reproductive health of men. (Source: Flickr) Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 09, 2018, 02.17 AM (IST)

In a new study revealed Monday, researchers discovered that the good old pain medicine Ibuprofen might not be so good after all for your health. 

Men who take high doses of the tablet over a period of months now may face an increased risk of a number of health problems including fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and muscle loss. While there are a couple of fallouts of using the medicine for a long period, the biggest threat to a man's body is that of it affecting the reproductive health. 

Doctors in Copenhagen studied 31 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 who took 600mg of ibuprofen twice daily. After using the medication for around two weeks, they developed a condition called compensated hypogonadism

The researchers said that ibuprofen lowered the men’s natural level of testosterone and that the pituitary gland had to kick up production of another hormone to increase testosterone. The condition resulted from the pituitary gland being overworked. The condition is normally seen only in older men and smokers, according to a leading UK publication. 

As per the study, Ibuprofen affected the production of hormones such as testosterone.

According to the doctors-in-charge of the study, their condition was mild and temporary, however, it could become adverse if used for longer periods. 

David Møbjerg Kristensen, one of the study’s authors, said, “Our immediate concern is for the fertility of men who use these drugs for a long time. These compounds are good painkillers, but a certain amount of people in society use them without thinking of them as proper medicines."

He added, “In the living body the pituitary gland kicks in to compensate for this, but the brain is pushing more to get the same amount of testosterone,” said Kristensen. “If you go on and stress the pituitary gland over the long term, this state could become permanent and you develop a more serious condition.”

The research was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.