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Popular Pain Medication Ibuprofen Could Lead To Male Infertility, Study Says

Ibuprofen Tablets.D Coetzee/Flickr

Ibuprofen is one the most well-known pain medications in the West, taken by millions of people every day. It’s a particular favorite of many athletes who suffer from muscle soreness and joint pains. According to a recent study, however, regular consumption of the drug could lead to several side-effects, including male sterility.

Published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study looked into the how ibuprofen alters the physiology of testicles after prolonged use. The hormonal changes that it induces is commonly associated with sterility.

“Our study addresses this issue by extending data showing antiandrogen effects of analgesics and suggests that such compounds may be involved in adult male reproductive problems. Using a unique combination of a randomized, controlled clinical trial and ex vivo and in vitro approaches, we report a univocal depression of important aspects of testicular function, including testosterone production, after use of over-the-counter ibuprofen,” the paper reads.

Of course, ibuprofen is only the generic name of the drug. Some of the most popular brand names of it include Advil and Motrin, which are over-the-counter products, CNN reports. It is worth noting that the study is actually a continuation of research looking into the effects of pain relievers on pregnant women.

According to the results of their study, taking aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen during pregnancy can lead to complications with regards to the development of babies. These could include the development of congenital malformations, which is what led the researchers to wonder how the drugs would affect adults.

As Forbes notes, this is the first study to provide evidence with regards to the negative impact of ibuprofen on testicular physiology. No doubt, more research will be conducted to make a more solid conclusion with regards to the effects of the common drug and what people should do about it.

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