Background NSAIDs are popular and used as analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory agents for more than a century. They are sold without a prescription and taken by millions of patients every day all over the world. There has been recent concerns as to their use in females at child bearing age, as many animal studies showed unfavourable effects on ovulation.
Objectives To study the effects of short term use of NSADs at their conventional dosages on ovulation.
Methods Thirty nine women at fertile age were chosen as volunteers to take part in this study, they visited the Rheumatology consultation clinic in Baghdad Hospital, suffering from minor backpain and received one of the three test drugs (diclofenac 100mg once daily, naproxen 500mg twice daily & etoricoxib 90mg once daily). Treatment with the above drugs was given for ten days starting at day ten of the onset of the menstrual cycle. A blood sample was taken from each patients for hormonal analysis (progesterone level) together with an ultra sonsography to assess the mean diameter of the dominant follicle. At day twenty the patient came back for another ultra sonography & to give a blood sample for another check for progesterone level. A fourth group served as controls, who received no treatment (control volunteers).
Results There was significant inhibition of ovulation in patients treated with diclofenac, naproxen & etoricoxib. Diclofenac was the highest inhibitor of ovulation compared to the other two drugs (naproxen & etoricoxib). A significant decrease in progesterone level in all three groups in compared to the control group was found. Functional cysts have been observed in one third of patients by the end of the treatment period with diclofenac, naproxen & etoricoxib due to unruptured follicles these disappeared at the next cycle.
Conclusions The findings may serve as an alarm of the harmful effects of these drugs on female fertility and be taken into consideration in females planning to have a child. The above results may open the door for looking for an emergency contraceptivet safer than those at use.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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