Illegal Drugs And Your Fertility
Illegal drugs, also known as recreational drugs, have many known side effects on your emotional and physical health. We all know that drugs can fry our brains, cause addiction, make us mentally ill, and cause damage to our hearts and lungs. But what you may not know is that these drugs can have a negative impact on your fertility.
Take heroin for instance, to start with what you may assume is an extreme example. Heroin causes a disturbance to a woman's menstrual cycle which can prevent her from becoming pregnant. Men who use heroin may suffer from erectile dysfunction. Of course, heroin also suppresses the immune system and can lead to the contraction of STD's by virtue of shared needles. All of these issues, in and of themselves may lead to infertility. This may be nature's way of protecting infants from being born addicted and having to go through the pangs of withdrawal right after going through the pangs of labor and delivery.
So, let's look at cocaine. Many people have (unofficially, of course), had a snort here and there at a good party. For men, regular use of cocaine can lead to lowered sperm counts, while long-term use of the white powder can lessen sperm motility, too. For women, cocaine, just like heroin, affects the menstrual cycle and may also cause tubal abnormalities which can prevent conception.
Everyone knows that bodybuilders are tempted by steroids. Do these illegal drugs affect fertility? Studies have shown that steroids can cause erectile dysfunction and problems with sexual performance. In addition, steroids tend to reduce the levels of hormones involved in sperm production. As for women and steroids, these illegal substances have been known to bring ovulation to a halt (anovulation) which makes conception all but impossible.
What about marijuana? Who doesn't indulge in a puff here and there? If you want to get pregnant, you may want to rethink that idea.
Marijuana can cause ovulatory dysfunction in women, either by making ovulation sporadic or altogether nonexistent. There is also evidence to suggest that marijuana use can lower sperm counts in men.
This article speaks to the direct effects of drugs on the reproductive system. But there are other less obvious issues with illegal drug use that may impact on your fertility. Any substance that affects your judgment can lead you to injuries that may affect your fertility. If you are addicted, it is likely you have an impaired immune system, which would make you more susceptible to diseases that can make you infertile, for instance pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
This is all in addition to what you surely know: that if you should become pregnant while taking drugs, your drug use could cause dire effects on your unborn infant, so that your womb becomes a disaster zone instead of the nurturing environment it is meant to be.