It’s no secret that substance abuse can be damaging to your health, but one of the ways that an addiction to a drug or alcohol can be most harmful is in hindering your ability to become a parent. At Eden Recovery Centre, we describe how cigarettes, heroin, alcohol and marijuana can have an impact on reproductive health – as proven by research.
How Tobacco affects fertility.
Besides harming almost every organ in the body, smoking can have disastrous consequences for fertility says Eden Recovery Centre. In one study published in the journal Human Reproduction, women who smoked and were trying to get pregnant were 42% more likely to experience a delay in conception of more than one year compared with non-smoking women; in fact, the smokers had double the risk of infertility problems of non-smokers in the study.
How Marijuana affects fertility
Although it’s often seen as a relatively harmless drug, marijuana can have a profound effect on reproductive health, especially in men. In a study of almost 2,000 British guys, researchers found that those 30 and younger who reported smoking marijuana at least once in the past three months were almost twice as likely to have sperm whose shape and size was abnormal. Study author Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield suggested that “cannabis users might be advised to stop using the drug if they are planning to try and start a family.”
How alcohol affects fertility
While having an occasional drink likely won’t lower your odds of getting pregnant explains Eden Recovery Centre, it’s a different story if you’re drinking a lot. In a Fertility and Sterility study, researchers compared sperm quality in moderate drinkers with that of 66 alcoholic men who drank about six ounces or more of alcohol daily, or nearly so. The researchers detected abnormalities in the alcoholics’ reproductive hormones and found that their sperm count and motility (how well the sperm could move through the female reproductive tract) were significantly lower compared with the non-alcoholic control group.
How Heroin and Cocaine affects fertility
When it comes to hard drugs like heroin and cocaine and their impact on fertility, the prognosis is, unsurprisingly, pretty grim says Eden Recovery Centre. Men who use heroin, for example, may experience sexual dysfunction that lasts even after they quit, suggests a study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology. Heroin affects the quality, and especially the motility of sperm, according to a study of 80 heroin-addicted men.
The potential effects of cocaine on fertility have mostly been evaluated in animal trials. In one study of female monkeys researchers found that cocaine impaired ovulation and ovarian function. Similarly, a study in male rats showed that cocaine affected the development of the animals’ sperm cells.
If you are worried about how your drug addiction could be affecting you chances of becoming a parent, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre’s for treatment programmes and advice. You can depend of full discretion.