Drugs taken for painful periods could cause infertility – Research says

The researchers analysed the effects of the 3 NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) on fertility.  Women have been cautioned against taking drugs for painful periods and back pain as it could cause infertility.

A new study revealed that drugs such as naproxen, diclofenac, ibuprofen and aspirin which are largely used for the treatment of pain, inflammation, painful periods and fever can reduce a woman’s fertility. The researchers analysed the effects of the 3 NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) on fertility.

As part of the study, painkiller study investigator, Prof. Sami Salman, of the University of Baghdad, Iraq recruited 39 women of childbearing age who suffer from back pain to take part in the study. The women received diclofenac (100mg once daily), naproxen (500mg twice daily) and etoricoxib (90mg once daily) or a placebo. The drugs were given 10 days after the beginning of their menstrual cycle, the first day of a woman’s period. Researchers tested whether the women had ovulated by analysing the level of the hormone progesterone, via a blood sample. They also measured the diameter of the dominant follicle, a fluid-filled cavity in the ovaries that contains one undeveloped egg, using ultra sonography, a form of ultrasound. The team found that of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3% of those taking diclofenac ovulated, and only 25% of women taking naproxen and 27.3% taking etoricoxib ovulated. This was compared with 100% of women in the control group, who were not taking medication.

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