Study suggests link between ibuprofen, male infertility

Popping ibuprofen could make your balls shrivel

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

No direct effect on fertility was shown, but the results of this initial study suggest that it warrants further investigation.

Male fertility is dropping around the world and the researchers wanted to see if ibuprofen might be contributing to this. How small? There are more authors on the paper-19 of them-than the 14 male subjects in the experimental group.

Levels of luteinising hormone, which stimulates the testosterone production increased in the study participants but overall testosterone dropped. Some took 1,200 milligrams of ibuprofen - commonly known as Advil or Motrin, among others - every day in two 600 mg doses over a six-week period, while others received a placebo.

For many, including myself, ibuprofen is a go-to painkiller.

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The study shows that it has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, altering their sex hormone production and affecting their reproductive health.

Overuse of ibuprofen could lead to full-blown hypogonadism, which refers to low levels of testosterone and diminished functionality of the testicles.

Erma Z. Drobnis, an associate professional practice professor of reproductive medicine and fertility at the University of Missouri, said the effects that drugs have on male fertility are rarely evaluated before marketing. They obtained testes tissue samples from organ donors and prostate cancer patients, and they've tested how these respond to ibuprofen; the researchers did the same with testicular cell lines.

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. The production of sperm, however, remained unharmed, as genes involved in this process appeared unaffected during the timeframe examined.

Again, it's important to emphasize this was a really small study that required two weeks of constant ibuprofen use before there was any indication that something was out of the ordinary. So not only is the shrinking of your balls concerning on a personal level, it could also suggest you're going to die earlier.

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