Taking ibuprofen could lower fertility among men. /Photo: Courtesy

It’s widespread, and one of the most common habits among Kenyans. That’s the over the counter purchase of drugs to rid pain, aches, among many other mild health disorders.

For men, it’s sad news here.

A recent study has established that taking ibuprofen (commonly known as Brufen) could lower fertility among young men.

Through the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science journal, David Mobjerg Kristensen, of the University of Copenhagen, reveals researchers discovered that young men given ibuprofen developed a condition called compensated hypogonadism.

“Therefore, it is also of concern that men… may eventually progress to overt primary hypogonadism, which is characterized by low circulating testosterone and prevalent symptoms including reduced libido, reduced muscle mass and strength, and depressed mood and fatigue,” the study suggested.

The condition is often found in elderly men and is associated with reproductive and physical disorders.

The new study indicates that ibuprofen is among painkillers responsible for male infertility. /Photo: SCIEPRO/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RF

UK’s The Times divulged, the drug affected the hormonal balance of the men studied, who were aged between 18 and 35. Levels of luteinising hormone, which stimulates the production of testosterone, increased as they took the drug but overall levels of testosterone dropped.

“Using a unique combination of a randomized, controlled clinical trial and ex vivo and in vitro approaches, we report a univocal depression of important aspects of testicular function, including testosterone production, after use of over-the-counter ibuprofen,” the authors said.

The study by French and Danish scientists revealed that the use of brufen (ibuprofen) results in selective transcriptional repression of endocrine cells in the human testis.

The over-the-counter drug is widely used by athletes but researchers now raise a red flag.

Richard Quinton, the senior lecturer in endocrinology at Newcastle University, was quoted by The Times: “Hitherto, most warnings regarding this family of painkillers have focused on limiting long-term use in the elderly to prevent gastrointestinal, renal and cardiac adverse effects. This study should give pause for thought to sportsmen using them routinely for aches and pains.”