Ibuprofen is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world. It’s widely available and effective over-the-counter pain reliever. Now a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has possibly linked Ibuprofen to male infertility. The research indicates that ibuprofen disrupts reproductive hormones in healthy young men and speculates that there may be a greater risk to men who already have low fertility. 

Here at Stone Springs Hospital we keep our eye on research like this because we are family focused, and with as many as 1 in 4 couples struggling with fertility, we look for risk factors. 

Dr. Christopher Starks, Chair of the Department of Surgery at StoneSprings Hospital Center suggests that once additional research with a larger sample is complete, the medical community may add NSAIDS, like Ibuprofen, to the list of commonly used medications and products that may impact a man's fertility status. That list already warns about exogenous testosterone use, cigarette smoke, and marijuana smoke.  

Dr. Starks notes that in his own practice, it’s often older patients with chronic conditions like lower back pain or arthritis who are the most likely to take long-term NSAIDS. “It is not as common in my fertility clinic where I am seeing younger couples, that patients' report that they are regularly and chronically taking medications like Ibuprofen.” 

Before you skip Advil or Motrin after a weekend of heavy yard work, know that even those behind this initial study are calling for more research before any recommendations are made. Dr. Starks agrees and says a larger study over a longer time period is necessary. 

StoneSprings Hospital is Loudoun County’s newest hospital. Our world-class healthcare includes keeping abreast of ongoing and significant research in areas of health that impact our community and our patients. www.strongspringshospital.com