Gynecologists warn that during the first six months of pregnancy, women must not take ibuprofen as it may increase the risk of their unborn daughters having fertility problems later on.
A study conducted at the University of Edinburgh has described pain relief medicine as a “threat to fertility of baby girls” for the reason that it affects the number of eggs the fetus is able to make during its time in the womb. Unlike men who continually produce sperm, women are born with all the eggs they will have in their lifetime.
With prolonged use of ibuprofen during pregnancy, there will be a reduction in the number of eggs a girl develops by as much as 40%.
The co-author of the study commented that:
“We know that fertility rates have declined over recent years, and essentially, we are looking for a potential reason why that might be the case. Because it is a relatively recent decline, it is felt that environmental factors [including painkillers] in addition to societal factors might have a role to play.”
By merely taking ibuprofen for two to seven days, researchers found that it causes eggs cells to die or fail to grow at a normal rate. The damage is reversible to some degree, especially if the painkiller was taken during the first trimester. Yet, taking it for weeks on end will disrupt the growth of the reproductive system, wherein eggs in the ovaries were unable to form.
Once they reached adulthood, women with fewer eggs will most likely have problems conceiving as well as will experience early menopause.
Due to ethical issues, the team used mice models to reach their conclusions. They became overly cautious with their advice and stated that more research is needed to fully determine the ibuprofen’s effect on the developing baby.
“Unless the benefits outweigh the potential risk of [the] unborn baby,” women are told not to take ibuprofen during the first 30 weeks of pregnancy.”
These findings add to the growing evidence that ibuprofen can affect fertility. Grown women must be warned that painkillers can affect the time and way their ovaries release eggs.
Ibuprofen Affects Male Fertility As Well
A separate study concluded that men who regularly took ibuprofen were at an increased risk of being impotent.
According to the research, those men who regularly took 1,200 mg of ibuprofen (the maximum recommended amount) had a significant decrease in testosterone levels after only 10 days. While taking half the maximum dose had their testosterone levels drop after two weeks. With continued use, men might develop compensated hypogonadism wherein the body is forced to increase the production of testosterone because the testes are unable to produce it on their own. With these, researchers assumed that ibuprofen increases the luteinizing hormone which affects testosterone production. This can possibly cause infertility in men.
Compensated hypogonadism is a temporary condition however long-term use of ibuprofen can damage a man’s body permanently. That is why experts suggest that men should not take ibuprofen for longer than 10 days.
There are natural ways to deal with pain. A regular exercise can help you improve most pain conditions. Also, foods rich in resveratrol such as grapes and berries, work on a cellular level for pain regulation.