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Men who take ibuprofen are at risk fertility problems, study says

Men who take ibuprofen are at risk fertility problems, study says

The researchers determined that young men given ibuprofen developed compensated hypogonadism, a condition that occurs when males have normal levels of testosterone, but higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), a substance that stimulates the production of testosterone.

However, despite the change in LH levels, the men's testosterone levels didn't change.

Prior research from the study's lead author also found that boys born to mothers who took ibuprofen during their first trimester of pregnancy may have impaired testicular development, adding weight to the idea that, at least in some scenarios, the drug may have a negative effect on fertility. The study reports that the condition is "associated with adverse reproductive and physical health disorders". This would lead to continuously low levels of testosterone, because the body could no longer compensate for the fall.

Men who dream of starting a family may want to pass on the ibuprofen the next time they have a headache. "These compounds are good painkillers, but a certain amount of people in society use them without thinking of them as proper medicines".

"The study shows that ibuprofen use results in selective transcriptional repression of endocrine cells in the human testis", the significance on the PNAS site reads.

Ibuprofen belongs to a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, that work by blocking the production of hormone-like signaling molecules called prostaglandins, which theoretically reduces pain and inflammation. Jegou, however, warned against taking the drug for months beyond what it necessary. "The risk is greater than the benefit".

The research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, showed that the men who took the high doses of ibuprofen developed the disorder known as compensated hypogonadism. This is because the pituitary gland at the base of the brain had ramped up levels of another hormone that drives the production of extra testosterone. While the findings needed to be replicated in further studies, he said, a precautionary approach made sense.

To avoid these side-effects, doctors caution against taking Ibuprofen for more longer than ten days in a row, per the FDA's warning.

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