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Ibuprofen linked to infertility

The growing list of contributors to infertility may have just got a little longer.

Two studies are showing that a common over-the-counter pain medication, ibuprofen, has marked negative effects on male genital formation and fertility.

In a placebo based study of French and Danish men between the ages of 18 and 35 - the group that took ibuprofen daily for 6 weeks produced results of hypogonadism, in previously healthy individuals. Even two weeks into the trial, adverse effects began to present.

“we report a univocal depression of important aspects of testicular function, including testosterone production, after use of over-the-counter ibuprofen. The study shows that ibuprofen use results in selective transcriptional repression of endocrine cells in the human testis. This repression results in the elevation of the stimulatory pituitary hormones, resulting in a state of compensated hypogonadism, a disorder associated with adverse reproductive and physical health disorders.[1]”


Negative effects on male testes have also been demonstrated in a study by Ben Maamar et al., where ibuprofen taken during pregnancy resulted in alterations in the development of male testis.


“The present study demonstrates, through the use of the FEGA, that concentrations which are equivalent to or even lower than peak plasma levels of ibuprofen markedly affect the biology of the 2 major human fetal testicular somatic cell populations, as well as of the germ cells, and that these effects occur during specific periods of human fetal testis development.[2]”


Studies have now shown that aspirin, acetaminophen (paracetamol) and ibuprofen all adversely effect male reproductive system. Kristensen points out that that all three drugs including ibuprofen are anti-androgenic (disruptive to the production of male hormones including testosterone).

Kristensen also noted that these drugs even increased the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformations.



[1] Kristensen DM, et al. Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America : 8 Jan 2018. Available from: URL:

[2]  Ben Maamar, M. et al. Ibuprofen results in alterations of human fetal testis development. Sci. Rep.7, 44184; doi: 10.1038/srep44184 (2017).


By Steven Bartlett
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