A Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Abosede Lewu, has warned that young women abusing painkillers are risking infertility.
Lewu, who is the Convener, Keep All Mothers Alive Project, said in Awka, Anambra State capital, that the frequent use of painkillers also known as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs by women could negatively affect their menstrual cycle and ovulation.
She explained that although painkillers belong to a class of drugs that reduces pain, decreases fever, prevents blood clots and in higher doses, decreases inflammation, their abuse could result in infertility for women.
According to her, “Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs have also been implicated in infertility. The consistent use or abuse of these drugs prevent ovulation and lower progesterone levels in young women.
“It prevents the follicle from breaking to release an egg, and when the egg is not released, there is nothing to fertilise by the sperm.
“Painkillers work mostly by blocking a particular pathway. This pathway is needed to achieve ovulation if blocked, a ripe follicle may not ovulate leading to Luteinised Unruptured Follicle or other mild dysfunction.’
Lewu, therefore, advised that women trying to get pregnant should avoid the frequent use of painkillers, advising ladies to always consult their doctors for proper prescription, timing and restrictions before taking painkillers.
She added, “For those using painkillers for a 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 for not 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 NSAID is to be used, it should be prescribed, timed and restricted. So, stop NSAIDs abuse.”
Lewu further advised women to visit their physicians anytime they suffered ovulation or menstrual disorders and fertility problems.