Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Short-term application of ibuprofen before ovulation

A.S. Kohl Schwartz 1, S. Burkard 1, V.R. Mitter 1, A.B. Leichtle 2, A. Fink 1, M. Von Wolff 1

1 University Women’s Hospital, Division of Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland;
2 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.


Iboprufen, implantation rate, IVF, natural cycle IVF, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ovulation

Published online: Oct 09 2020


Aim of the study: The aim was to analyse if ibuprofen, as a non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, has any negative effect on oocyte competence and embryo quality. COX- inhibitors are popular over-the-counter analgesics.  Whereas selective COX inhibitors have been shown to impair female fertility, data on non-selective COX inhibitors are poor. Hence, they have not been recommended for women trying to conceive.

Methods: This is an observational study comparing ibuprofen exposed and unexposed women from 18 to 42 years of age, using the model of natural cycle in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to determine oocyte and embryo quality. Follicular growth was monitored and if the follicle was mature (≥ 15mm size and estimated oestradiol level of ≥ 800pmol/l), ovulation was triggered. Women with luteinising hormone (LH) surge received 400mg ibuprofen every 8 hours to postpone ovulation, whereas women without LH surge received none (controls). Oocyte retrieval rate, oocyte maturity, fertilization rate, embryo development and embryo quality as well as implantation rate were analysed.

Results: Of the 111 women included, 63 received ibuprofen, and 48 did not. Rates of mature oocytes and implantation rate did not differ. Logistic regression showed no significant association of ibuprofen intake, LH-level or reason for infertility on embryo quality.

Conclusion: Based on our results, we suggest that, particularly within natural cycle IVF, ibuprofen does no harm around ovulation as analgesic treatment.