Dr. Abosede Lewu, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist has urged young women to stop abuse or consistent use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), also known as painkillers to prevent infertility.
According to her, “the consistent use or abuse of these drugs prevent ovulation and lower progesterone levels in young women”.
She described NSAIDs or painkillers, as members of a drug class that reduce pain, decrease fever, prevent blood clots, and in higher doses, decrease inflammation.
“It prevents the follicle from breaking to release the egg, and when the egg is not released, there is nothing to be fertilized by the sperm.
“Painkillers work mostly by blocking a particular pathway.
“This pathway is needed to achieve ovulation and if blocked, a ripe follicle may not ovulate leading to Luteinised Unruptured Follicle (LUF) or other mild dysfunction”, she said.
Lewu said consistent use of NSAIDs or painkillers should be discouraged among women trying to get pregnant.
She urged young women to consult a physician for a proper prescription, timing, and restrictions before using painkillers.
“For those using painkillers for few days for menstrual pain, you have already ovulated before the period, so except your cycle is very short, NSAIDs should not affect your menses, ovulation, and fertility”.
“For those using NSAIDs consistently for other medical conditions, they are more at risk of treating the underlying cause.
“They need to find an alternative drug or therapy.
“There are other groups of analgesics that can be used in place of NSAIDs.
“If NSAIDs are to be used, they should be prescribed, timed, and restricted.
“So, stop NSAIDs abuse,” she warned.
The gynaecologist also urged women to visit a doctor when they experience ovulation or menstrual disorders and fertility issues, saying that there are other causes aside painkillers.
“Please note, if you have ovulation or menstrual disorders and fertility issues, you cannot assume it is only NSAIDs, consult a specialist”, she advised.