Sexual Health Q&A

What is the connection between NSAIDs and erectile dysfunction (ED)?

Research has shown that, for some men, taking NSAIDs regularly increases the chances of erectile dysfunction.

Note that the acronym NSAIDs stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications help reduce inflammation, pain, and fever. They’re prescribed for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, sports injuries, and headaches. Sometimes they’re used to help protect against heart disease. Some examples of NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin.

Last year, The Journal of Urology published a study that involved over 80,000 men between the ages of 45 and 69. Overall, 47% of the men used NSAIDs and 29% had mild to moderate ED. As the men got older, their NSAID use increased, as did their episodes of ED.

The researchers found that men who took NSAIDs three times a day for three months were more than twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction compared to men who didn’t take NSAIDs regularly.

Even after researchers considered other factors that may have contributed to ED (such as diabetes, heart disease, weight, age, and cholesterol levels), the men who took NSAIDs regularly were still 1.4 times more likely to have ED.