Ibuprofen Linked to Male Infertility
Adapted from “Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism” published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January 2018.
Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen used to treat minor aches and pains and reduce fever.
When taking ibuprofen young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.
The research team recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given 600 milligrams of ibuprofen twice a day, the remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.
For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormone (LH), which is secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone, became elevated.
The levels of LH in the ibuprofen group had increased by 23% after 14 days of administration. This increase was even more pronounced at 44 days, at 33%.
This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition prevalent among elderly men and associated with impaired fertility, depression, and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels were significantly decreased with ibuprofen administration, showing a direct impact on sperm production and quality.
These effects of ibuprofen remain reversible when it is taken over a brief window of time, but it remains unknown whether effects of taking ibuprofen over a longer period can be reversed.