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
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 analyzed the effects of the 3
NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) on
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
Researchers tested whether the women had
ovulated by analyzing 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
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.
Based on the findings Salman said:
“After just 10 days of treatment we saw a
significant decrease in progesterone, a hormone
essential for ovulation, across all treatment groups,
as well as functional cysts in one third of patients.
These findings show that even short-term use of
these popular, over-the-counter drugs could have a
significant impact on a women’s ability to have
Also doctors said the risk of reduced fertility
associated with the drugs, must be communicated
to women regularly taking the medication.

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