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Illegal Drugs and Their Affect on Your Fertility

Illegal drugs can have a number of affects on your health and on your life.  In addition to the common types of problems associated with illegal drugs, such as the destruction of brain cells, addiction, heart and lung damage, and mental difficulties, illegal drugs can have an affect on your fertility.

Use of heroin, for example can cause a variety of fertility problems.  Heroin can cause a disturbance in a woman’s menstrual cycle, and therefore affect her fertility.  In men, use of heroin can lead to impotence.  For both men and women, other side effects of heroin such as a higher risk of contracting STDs and a reduced immune system can all lead to infertility.

Use of cocaine can also cause fertility problems.  In men, the use of cocaine can lead to a low sperm count.  Longer-term use of cocaine can cause problems with low sperm motility, as well.  For women, cocaine can also affect the menstrual cycle, just as heroin does.  Cocaine use in women can also lead to abnormalities in the fallopian tubes, also causing problems with fertility.

Illegal steroids can also affect fertility.  For men, steroids have been known to cause impotence.  In addition, they can affect sexual performance.  Steroids also can reduce the specific hormones that help with sperm production, as well.  In women, steroids can lead to annovulation, in which the woman does not ovulate at all, making pregnancy impossible.

Even marijuana can affect fertility.  For women, using marijuana can cause difficulties with ovulation.  By preventing ovulation or making it more sporadic, marijuana can make it extremely difficult for a woman to conceive.  For men, there is some research that suggests that marijuana use can cause a low sperm count, as well.

In addition, there are other problems that illegal drug use can create in terms of fertility.  The impaired judgment that often accompanies illegal drug use can lead to injuries that affect fertility.  A weakened immune system can make a person more susceptible to a disease that would affect fertility, such as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).  If you do conceive while taking illegal drugs, they can have any number of serious and potentially life threatening affects on your baby as she develops in your womb.

If you have used illegal drugs after conceiving, you should consult a medical doctor immediately. There are many treatment options that can work to assure the health of you and your baby, but the sooner you act, the better, for both you and your baby

Ultimately, illegal drug use can severely affect your fertility.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.