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Low-dose analgesics not a threat to male fecundity

29 Jun 2020

The use of pain medications at low doses by men does not hurt their chances of getting their partners pregnant, a study suggests.

Researchers looked at 1,956 men participating in Pregnancy Study Online. All male and female participants completed questionnaires on socio-demographics, lifestyle, medication use, and medical history at baseline. The women also accomplished bimonthly follow-up questionnaires for up to 12 months.

Of the male participants, more than half (51.7 percent) reported using at least one pain medication during the previous month. Commonly used analgesics were ibuprofen (35.8 percent) and acetaminophen (17.8 percent), with fewer men taking naproxen (5.7 percent) and aspirin (4.5 percent). The median cumulative monthly doses were 1,200, 1,300, 1,100, and 1,000 mg, respectively.

In proportional probabilities models, adjusted fecundability ratios were 1.02 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.91–1.13) for ibuprofen, 0.89 (95 percent CI, 0.77–1.03) for acetaminophen, 1.07 (95 percent CI, 0.85–1.35) for naproxen, and 1.05 (95 percent CI, 0.81–1.35) for aspirin, as compared with nonuse of each medication.

Younger men (<30 years) who used some types of pain medication appeared to have reduced fecundability, although small numbers prevented the researchers from drawing a firm conclusion.

The present data, along with currently available evidence from the literature, indicate the safety of common over-the-counter pain medications at low cumulative doses in relation to male fecundity, according to the researchers.

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