June 7, 2017

How Do Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers Affect Fertility?

How Do Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers Affect Fertility?

The most commonly used over-the-counter pain relievers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and Aspirin. These are also commonly taken for pain relief during pregnancy. How do over-the-counter pain relievers affect fertility? Epidemiologic studies have shown a link between taking analgesics during pregnancy and the occurrence of adverse effects in the child.

Recent studies in animal models from Europe have shown that Ibuprofen can affect masculinization, testicular development and ultimate sperm production. Regular use of Ibuprofen in men does not interfere with sperm production. However, these medications taken by women can interfere with ovulation if taken around the time of ovulation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and extra strength Tylenol) is a safer alternative to NSAIDS and ASA in women attempting pregnancy and those who are already pregnant.

For more information on what is safe to take while pregnant or trying to conceive, visit one of our blog posts:

Knowing what to do can be overwhelming. If you have questions about what medications are safe to take, please contact us, or consult with your doctor beforehand.

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility