Young women who regularly use pain-relief medicines called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might be seriously undermining their fertility, a new study suggests. The study was conducted by Dr. Sami Salman, from the University of Baghdad and was Salman presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Congress 2015 in Rome.
The popular drugs (ibuprofen, Naproxen, diclofenac) some of them available without a prescription, may hinder ovulation and lower levels of the female hormone progesterone, the researchers say.
Although “this process is reversible, a woman is not going to become pregnant if she continues to take NSAIDs and doctors need to advise women to stop taking these drugs if they want to be fertile,”
The actual study was conducted on women of childbearing age who used NSAIDs for minor back pain. Those females who took NSAIDS for a 10 day stretch that covered the ovulatory phase of their menstrual cycle were found to have less frequent ovulations, a reduction in their progesterone levels and a 33% increase in the development of follicular cysts. In most cases, ovulation was reduced between 75 to 93%.
The same women were then monitored during their next menstrual cycle when no NSAIDs were taken. The subsequent cycle appeared to show normal ovulations and progesterone levels.
This study suggests that women who want to protect their fertility should consider their use of NSAIDs for pain relief.
By Alice Heinzen