Illegal recreational drugs have many well-publicized side effects on a person’s health, whether mental, emotional, or physical. It is a well-known fact that these drugs have profound effects on the brain, cause addiction and mental illness, not to mention the damage they cause to other vital bodily organs. But what is often neglected is the negative impact these drugs can have on fertility.
Cannabis has such widespread use that it is often regarded as safe. Recent changes in legislation in the U.S. have reinforced this idea. However, if you are struggling to get pregnant, you may want to reconsider its safety.Marijuana can cause dysfunctions in a woman’s menstrual cycle, making ovulation sporadic or altogether nonexistent. There is also scientific evidence that suggests that marijuana use can lower sperm counts in men.
As for cocaine, many individuals have had an occasional bump at a party. For men, using cocaine regularly can lead to decrease sperm counts, and long-term use can decrease sperm quality and lessen sperm motility. For women, cocaine has adverse effects on the menstrual cycle, and long-term use may also cause tubal abnormalities that can prevent conception from occurring.
It is common knowledge that illegal steroid use has a higher incidence among bodybuilders than other subsets of the population. Studies have shown that anabolic steroids can cause erectile dysfunction and problems with sexual performance. In addition, steroids such as androgens tend to reduce the levels of hormones involved in sperm production. As for women, steroids have been known to bring cause an ovulation, which makes conception almost impossible for any woman who uses them.
As an extreme example, heroin causes a disturbance in a woman’s menstrual cycle, which can prevent her from becoming pregnant even if she had not preexisting medical condition preventing her from becoming pregnant. Men may also develop erectile dysfunction as a result of heroin abuse. Heroin suppresses the body’s immune system, and the use of shared needles may result in the contraction of serious, incurable blood-borne diseases. All of these issues may lead to infertility, whether directly affecting the reproductive system, or leading to illnesses that can cause infertility themselves.
Aside from the direct pharmacological and physical effects of illegal drugs on the body, there are other less obvious issues with illegal drug use that may have serious impacts on fertility. Any substance that can impair judgment or cognition can lead to irreparable damage on fertility. For a woman who is addicted, she may have an impaired immune system, making her more susceptible to diseases that can cause infertility, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and other sequelae of infectious diseases.
If you should become pregnant while using illegal recreational drugs, your addiction could cause dire effects on your unborn infant, such that your womb becomes a hostile environment incompatible with life, instead of the nurturing environment for a developing fetus.