Pregnant women should not take ibuprofen as it increases the risk of their unborn daughters having fertility problems later on, gynecologists have warned.
According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, ibuprofen consumption is a “threat to [the] fertility of baby girls” because it impacts how many eggs the fetus is able to make during its time in the womb.
Naturalnews.com reports: Women are born with all the eggs they will have in their lifetime, unlike men who continually produce sperm.
Prolonged use of ibuprofen during pregnancy can reduce the number of eggs a girl develops by as much as 40 percent.
“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,” commented co-author of the research, Rod Mitchell. “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.”
The effects are dramatic. The team saw that merely taking ibuprofen for two to seven days caused eggs cells to die or fail to grow at the normal rate. The damage is reversible to some degree, especially if the painkiller was taken during the first trimester. Nevertheless, taking ibuprofen for weeks on end will inevitably disrupt the growth of the reproductive system, with ovaries unable to form a lot of eggs.
The devastating effects of women having fewer eggs cannot be overemphasized. Women with fewer eggs will most likely have problems conceiving when they are adults. It is also probable that these women will experience early menopause.
Due to ethical issues, the team used mice models to reach their conclusions. This has caused them to be overly cautious with their advice. They have stated that more research is needed to fully determine the effects ibuprofen can have on a developing baby. More importantly, they emphasize the importance of understanding the full mechanisms and actions of the painkiller.
Women are told to avoid taking ibuprofen during the first 30 weeks of pregnancy “unless the benefits outweigh the potential risk of [the] unborn baby.”
These findings add to the growing evidence that ibuprofen can affect fertility. Grown women who take the NSAID are warned that painkillers can affect when and how their ovaries release eggs.
Ibuprofen affects male fertility as well
Another study concluded that men who regularly took ibuprofen were at an increased risk of being impotent. Researchers found that men who took 1,200 mg of ibuprofen (the maximum recommended amount) daily had a significant decline in testosterone after only 10 days. Men who took half the maximum dose had their testosterone levels drop after two weeks. Continued use of the painkiller eventually led the men to develop compensated hypogonadism. This is when the body is forced to increase the production of testosterone because the testes are unable to produce it on their own. Researchers hypothesize that ibuprofen increases the luteinizing hormone which affects testosterone production. This can possibly cause infertility in men.
Compensated hypogonadism is a temporary condition but long-term ibuprofen use can permanently damage a man’s body.
Researchers say that men should not take ibuprofen for longer than 10 days.