The Effects of Drugs on Fertility
If you and your partner are having difficulties conceiving, then you are probably eager to find out if you are suffering from an underlying fertility problem. Sometimes, infertility can be the result of reproductive issues caused by the use of recreational and prescription drugs. Though you may not realise it, drugs including steroids, alcohol, and tobacco, can have a very negative on both the male and female reproductive systems. In fact, it is believed that drug use plays a role in a large percentage of many of unexplained fertility cases.
Prescription Drugs and Fertility
Drugs that are prescribed to help manage and treat certain illnesses and diseases can sometimes have a negative affect on both male and female fertility. If you are trying to conceive, it is important to speak with your health care provider about the possible effects that your prescribed medication may have on your fertility. Drugs including steroid shots, high blood pressure medication, and antidepressants can all negatively affect the reproductive system. The most common side effect of these medications is loss of libido, however, some of these medications can also lead to:
- lowered sperm count
- erectile dysfunction
- menstrual irregularities
Alcohol and Fertility
Heavy consumption of alcohol has a startling effect on both male and female fertility. Men and women who drink more than six alcoholic beverages per day are more likely to suffer from hormonal imbalances, affecting both the generation of sperm and ovulation. Women who are heavy drinkers commonly suffer from:
- luteal phase defects
Men who are heavy drinkers can suffer from:
- low sperm count
- poor sperm motility
- poor sperm morphology
The affects of light to moderate alcohol consumption on fertility are, unfortunately, less well known. It does appear that moderate alcohol consumption can kill off some sperm-producing cells in the testicles and may contribute to impaired sperm morphology. Some studies also show that women who are light to moderate drinkers may experience some hormonal imbalances.
Tobacco and Fertility
Most men and women are familiar with the hazards of tobacco use during pregnancy. However, few people recognise that tobacco has the potential to affect your chances of conceiving. In fact, cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing have both been related to a number of fertility problems in both men and women.