An recent article in The Daily Mail highlighted a study conducted by the University of Tampere in Finland that suggests that men who take daily doses of pain medications, including ibuprofen, are at a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.
Urologist Dr. David Knowles comments on the study and tells us what this research can reveal about the causes of erectile dysfunction.
Dr. David Knowles:
There is a new study out of University of Tampere in Finland that came to the conclusion that Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications are related to erectile dysfunction (ED). This has made some people come to the assumption that these medications may cause ED. This is NOT the case. This study was not designed to determine a cause and effect. They simply collected data to see if there were any associations. They found an association between people who take these medications and ED. If you think about this it makes great sense. The two most common reasons to take aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs is arthritis and to prevent heart attacks. It has been known for a long time that patients with heart problems and/or are debilitated by joint pain have poor erectile function. So people who are more likely to take these medications are more likely to have problems with erections. This is far from proving a cause and effect. Without a randomized, placebo controlled study designed to establish that these medications cause ED I would feel comfortable taking these medications myself and prescribing them to my patients without fear they cause erectile dysfunction.