Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Does aspirin affect male fertility? This is a question many men ask themselves. Although the scientific literature does not confirm the existence of a direct link between aspirin and male infertility, some researchers believe that the drug can impair sperm motility and interfere with ovulation. Moreover, it can affect testicular weight, which in turn can lead to congenital cryptorchidism. Nonetheless, the results of the study are worth considering.
NSAIDs interfere with ovulation
The long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may disrupt ovarian physiology, contributing to fertility problems in both men and women. NSAIDs act as analgesics and can interfere with the production of an enzyme necessary for ovulation, COX2. Inhibition of COX-2 has major consequences for ovulation, and NSAIDs are likely implicated in the development of infertility in women.
NSAIDs may also impair sperm quality. One study showed that NSAID use reduced the quality of sperm in mice and cattle. The effects were most pronounced in women, whose sperm quality was already diminished by smoking and excessive alcohol use. A third of the subjects developed functional cysts in their uterus. The study concluded that the effects of NSAIDs on fertility may be more serious than previously thought.
In a study of 29 women of childbearing age, NSAIDs inhibited ovulation in 25 percent of them. The treatment period was 10 days, starting on the day 10 of the menstrual cycle. Hormonal analysis was done through blood samples and ultra sonography. Interestingly, NSAIDs decreased the production of progesterone in young women, preventing ovulation and increasing the risk of ovarian cysts.
NSAIDs increase risk of congenital cryptorchidism
There is a small increase in the risk of cryptorchidism when NSAIDs are taken during pregnancy, and this increased risk appears to be more evident in boys. Although NSAIDs may cause an increase in cryptorchidism, they do not affect the severity of the condition. NSAIDs are known to increase the risk of congenital cryptorchidism, but this association is not yet clear.
NSAIDs have been implicated in endocrine disruption and have been associated with an increased risk of cryptorchidism. This risk was observed in boys who were exposed to PCBs, phthalates, and anti-rust chemicals during pregnancy. However, a small study conducted in the Netherlands found no association between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and cryptorchidism.
While the exact causes of cryptorchidism are still unknown, researchers believe that disruption of endocrine function during the testicular descent phase, which occurs during eight to fifteen weeks of pregnancy, may also increase the risk of cryptorchidism. This may be a contributing factor in causing the condition, but further research is needed to confirm these results.
NSAIDs impair sperm motility
Although short-term use of NSAIDs for acute pain does not seem to negatively affect male fertility, prolonged use can lead to adverse sperm effects. Long-term use of NSAIDs is associated with lower levels of testosterone, thought to be due to its inhibitory effect on the pituitary gland. Moreover, long-term opioid use can impair testicular function and affect sperm quality. Leucocytes that infiltrate the testicles and secrete anti-sperm antibodies may contribute to these adverse effects.
Many medications are used to treat cardiovascular problems, but some are known to negatively affect sperm motility and quality. Some of these medications, such as ACE-inhibitors, can also impair sperm motility and cause erectile dysfunction. NSAIDs may increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and affect sperm quality, but most studies indicate no impact on sperm motility in humans.
NSAIDs reduce testicular weight
The use of NSAIDs has long been controversial, with concerns over the effects on reproductive function. In the study, Diclofenac sodium, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), was given to 10 male Wistar rats. It had the same effect on sperm count and motility, but also increased immotile cells. In other words, NSAIDs may reduce testicular weight.
Inflammation of the testicles may also result in cyst formation and rupture. In some cases, it may be the result of an infection or straddle injury, such as from a motorcycle accident. Other causes of testicular pain include trauma, inguinal hernia, or a vasectomy, a surgical procedure that closes off the tubes that carry sperm. Although the treatment for testicular pain is typically nonsurgical, it may be necessary to consult with a medical professional to determine the exact cause.
In male infertility, the effects of drugs on testicular development must be investigated. This includes when the patient started the treatment and during the critical period of testicular maturation. It is also important to consider the effects of drugs on the various organs and processes of the testis. These disorders may influence spermatogenesis, ejaculation, and other reproductive functions. If one of these conditions occurs, NSAIDs should be avoided or taken with caution.