Painkillers are easily accessible and it’s easy to pop a pill or two for aches and pains.
But a new study shows that men who take too much ibuprofen are increasing their risk of infertility.
While the anti-inflammatory drug reduces pain, Danish scientists warn that ibuprofen could be ruining men’s chances of being fertile because the medication makes their testicles shrink.
According to Net Doctor, a small study among men aged from 18 to 35 years old showed that taking the painkiller increased the risk of compensated hypogonadism – a hormone imbalance whereby men have higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) than testosterone. Less testosterone means less fertility.
“Through a clinical trial with young men exposed to ibuprofen, we show that the analgesic resulted in the clinical condition named ‘compensated hypogonadism’,” says the University of Copenhagen’s Dr David Kristensen.
Scientists split the participants into two groups. One group of 14 of received 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day two weeks before and 30 days after an exercise session, Metro News reports. The other group was given a placebo.
The study of altogether 31 male volunteers showed that the administration of ibuprofen reduced production of testosterone by nearly a quarter in about six weeks, which resulted in compensated hypogonadism.
Researchers have also discovered that excessive use of the over-the-counter medication can also lead to erectile dysfunction, muscle loss and depression – which diminishes sex drive.
Excessive long-term use could potentially lead to full-blown hypogonadism, which will completely diminish the functionality of the testicles, the Daily Mail reports.
Previous research has found a link between low testosterone levels and premature death from especially heart disease.