The Effects of Drug Abuse on Your Reproductive System

October 8, 2012

Drug abuse is well known to cause damage to the entire human body. While people may be well educated that it is overall harmful, they may not be aware of the havoc it can wreak on the reproductive system for both men and women.  Long term drug abuse may make it difficult to have children in the future and cause short term hormone problems. Worse yet, long term drug abuse can cause difficulty having children later in life.  Drug use during pregnancy or conception may cause a baby to be born with an addiction or cause physical and mental disabilities.

Drug Abuse and the Male Reproductive System

reproductive-systemDrug abuse disrupts the body’s ability to perform properly.  For men, heroin abuse is known to suppress the immune system and lead to the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  Any intravenous drug use increases the risk for contracting an STD, and STDs can have long term impact on reproductive health. Men are also at high risk for erectile dysfunction caused by heroin and drug abuse.  There is some evidence to suggest that a man’s testes may actually shrink.  Drug abuse disrupts the endocrine system, causing hormone levels, specifically testosterone and estrogen to become imbalanced causing general fertility problems.  An increase in estrogen can also cause men to experience enlarged breasts and weight gain.   Cocaine abuse is known to decrease sperm counts and in the long-term lessen motility of the sperm.

Drug Abuse and the Female Reproductive System

The problems associated with drug abuse and the reproductive system are not confined to men. The female reproductive system can be altered considerably through prolonged substance abuse.  Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other narcotics have been known to alter a woman’s menstrual cycle. Abnormal menstruation is one possible result that often occurs as a result of malnutrition caused by the drug abuse.   It is common in women suffering from cocaine addiction and heroin abuse.  Some drug abuse can cause a woman to stop ovulation.  As a result, a woman will deal with infertility problems and may need to seek reproductive assistance later in life.  Many drugs actually impact the chemical balance in the reproductive system, causing damage to the organs themselves.   Cocaine abuse for example, can cause abnormalities in a woman’s fallopian tubes, preventing conception later in life. A woman’s eggs can become damaged by substance abuse, resulting in children with health problems.

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol or drug abuse, seeking help now can prevent further damage to the body.   It may not be too late to reverse the damage that has already been done and to have a chance at a normal, healthy reproductive system.   Please call us today at 1-877-380-9777 for help in overcoming substance abuse and addiction.  Our counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of your drug abuse.  Drug abuse treatment is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse issues.

Photo courtesy of flickr user mindfulness via a creative commons license.

Insurance