Ibuprofen linked to male infertility

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Ibuprofen, a drug used to treat fever and pain, has been found to have a negative impact on the testicles of young men. These are the findings of a new study published on Monday in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’.

Testicles, also called testes or balls, are ovalshaped organs that sit in a sac that hangs behind the penis. The main job of testicles is to make and store sperm and produce testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.

Testosterone is the male hormone that is responsible for the changes that occur during puberty. When taking ibupro fen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age.

This condition is linked to reduced fertility. Ibuprofen, an overthe- counter pain reliever, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Ibuprofen is used to reduce fever and treat pain or inflammation caused by many conditions such as headache, toothache, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps, or minor injury.

According to Bernard Jégou, co-author and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, the new study is a continuation of research that began with pregnant women. Jégou and a team of French and Danish researchers had been exploring the health effects when a motherto- be took any one of three mild pain relievers found in aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen.

Their previous experiments published in several papers, showed that when taken during pregnancy, all three of these mild medicines affected the testicles of male babies. All three drugs then are “anti-androgenic,” meaning they disrupt male hormones, explained David M. Kristensen, study coauthor and a senior scientist in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital. The three drugs even increased the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformations, Kristensen noted.

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