The European League Against Rheumatism is reporting that the commonly used medications diclofenac, naproxen, and etoricoxib significantly inhibit ovulation in women with mild musculoskeletal pain. Of the women receiving NSAIDs, only 6.3 percent (diclofenac), 25 percent (naproxen) and 27.3 percent (etoricoxib) ovulated, compared with 100 percent of the control group.
These findings suggest that readily available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could have a harmful effect on fertility, and should be used with caution in women wishing to start a family. NSAIDs are among the most commonly used drugs worldwide, and are taken by more than 30 million people every day. Available without prescription, NSAIDS are largely used for the treatment of pain, inflammation and fever. Their impact on ovulation has been heretofore undefined.
NSAIDs, though widely and commonly encouraged for use, should be taken only when medically necessary and when the harm to ovulation outweighs the risk of withholding the medication.