Can Substance Misuse Affect Fertility?
Drug and Alcohol use can have an impact on the fertility and reproductive functions of both men and women. If you are having trouble starting a family, read more to find out if substance misuse may be contributing to the problem.
How Addiction Can Affect Women’s Fertility
An estimated 40-50% of all fertility problems are related to a cause that lies with the woman. Experts say if you are using drugs and alcohol it can affect your fertility. The use of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and methamphetamines can severely disrupt normal menstrual cycles. Some drug users have reported not having a period for months or even years at a time, while others report other ovulatory abnormalities such as increased pain with menstruation, menstrual periods lasting longer than 14 days, and other abnormal ovulatory behavior.
Drug use and drug addiction in women have been associated with an increased propensity to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors This can lead to damage to the reproductive system as a result of sexually transmitted diseases, sexual trauma, or both.
Some drugs like heroin and cocaine inflict direct physical damage on female reproductive organs, like the fallopian tubes, which can cause infertility. In addition, addiction isn’t just a problem related to a person’s ability to conceive – it’s also a problem that could reduce the chances of being able to carry a healthy full-term pregnancy.
How Addiction Can Affect Men’s Fertility
Up to almost one in four men under the age of 35 uses recreational drugs. Several studies have suggested that these drugs might have adverse effects on human reproduction. Many street drugs as well as prescription drugs have been shown to lower both the sperm count and total seminal fluid in drug users, as well as lower levels of testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that is critical to male reproductive health and also has an impact on energy levels and the ability to cope with stress.
Drugs like crack, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin have been shown to cause abnormal sperm behavior in men, affecting sperm count and mobility. Some of the effects of long-term drug use on fertility are only temporary. For instance, the reduced sperm counts associated with marijuana and cocaine are reported to improve when the use of the drugs is stopped. However, other effects such as malformation of fallopian tubes in women are more permanent.
A recent study conducted by the National Library of Medicine says stopping alcohol consumption and recreational drug addiction may be the best course of action for any couple trying to achieve pregnancy.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and looking for rehab near Miami, Recovery First can help. Contact our confidential admissions navigators who are available 24/7