Researchers from the Stanford School of Medicine in California have warned that using Medtronic's popular bone regrowth protein, Infuse, drastically increases the risk of infertility among men.
Infuse was approved by the Food and Drug Administration back in 2002 and even then there were doubts whether the genetically engineered protein increased the risk of infertility. Medtronic funded studies made no mention of the side effect and a large number of doctors used the drug to spur the growth of new bone after spinal surgery.
However lead researcher Dr Eugene Carragee found that more than 7 percent of his patients treated with Infuse developed retrograde ejaculation compared to just 0.6 percent among patients who did not use the protein.
"This product became quite fashionable when it came out, and it started to be used in people who didn't have any risk factors. "For someone who is young and healthy, they are probably going to heal just fine. In men who might want children, they should be counseled to think about what the alternatives are", Dr Carragee said before adding that Infuse could be responsible for infertility in more than 1,000 patients every year. The study has been published in The Spine Journal.