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Drug abuse and fertility - A definitive guide

+2 votes

infertility and drug abuse

Drugs are known to affect male and female fertility - sometimes even when supervised or given due to medical conditions. So you can imagine the havoc it create on your fertility quotient when you are abusing a drug. The term drug abuse is used to define a condition where illegal or sometimes legal drugs are taken in excessive quantities. This leads to dependance on the drug and acute physical and emotional problems are faced when trying to leave them. Some of these include cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, etc.

Heres’ how different drugs affect fertility-


drug abuse

A harmless drug often taken in college for the sake of fun - can wreck your fertility. Studies reveal that old habits die hard and these drugs are continued way into the 30’s. Doctors recommend that anyone planning to start a family should immediately stop consumption of these drugs. In men, studies reveal, that sperm movement becomes super fast after smoking marijuana. This means that early sperm movement prevents penetrating the egg, thus causing fertility issues. In women, this risk is slightly less but is known to cause ovulation abnormalities.

Cocaine and Heroin

Cocaine like marijuana is known to suppress ovulation and thus hampers your fertility cycle. It can also lead to an increased production of prolactin, which is a hormone related to your menstrual cycle. In some cases, excessive cocaine consumption is known to have caused acute abnormalities in the fallopian tube. In pregnant women, it puts the health of the foetus at risk. In this reference, Heroin too is known for creating problems in fertility, just like cocaine.




Opiates like methadone is a very complicated issue when it comes to fertility. But it has a direct impact on the fetus. The opiate chemicals continue to stay in the body, in spite of quitting the drug at the right time. And through the umbilical chord, it reaches the baby. Sometimes these dozes can be too high and lethal for the child. Acute detoxification prior to try getting pregnant is suggested in women. In men, opiates are known to slow down the process of erection and feeling of wanting to have sex.



Amphetamines here comprise of various forms of drugs like MDMA/ecstasy, methamphetamine along with speed. All of these drugs are dangerous for your baby and restrain your chances of conceiving in the first place. Consumption of the same are known to create issues in mothers like stroke, arrhythmia, hypothermia, seizures, etc. The same applies for men. On the whole, it reduces your overall immunity. In comparative studies, women give birth to kids with more medical complications as compared to women who don’t abuse this drug.




Though there is no negative connotation associated with this drug, it doesn’t mean that you have a green signal to abuse the same. Remember that LSD still is a drug and over abusing the same would have some adverse effect on your health.

Your action-plan

action plan


  • Quit these drugs now. Since it is easier said than done, visit an expert or a rehab to help you in the process.
  • Detoxify the natural way by eating healthier fruits, vegetables and other detoxifying juices that help in flushing out the same. Some rehabs have outpatient options where detoxification using chemicals is done to ensure that your reproductive organs are free from such toxins.
  • And lastly, be strong and adamant. You are planning on bringing a new life to this plant - make the difference by saying no to drugs.




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posted Mar 8, 2016 by Dr Alok

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+1 vote

fertility and conception


Alcohol is known to reduce fertility in both men and women. Though a light dose of drink on and off won’t hurt your health, but too much of drinking is always a problem. Even if you are not trying to conceive now, it could affect your fertility health later. Here is an insight on the same-

Lower fertility levels

lower fertility levels


Both men and women are known to suffer from lower fertility levels when they are drinking heavily. In women, it is known to reduce reproductive systems along with creating acute hormonal imbalance. This imbalance causes irregular menstrual cycles, changes in ovulation dates, etc. For men it results in reduced sperm count and lower sperm quality as it has an adverse effect on hormones and overall health too.

Risk of Miscarriage

risks of miscarriage


Women are more prone to risks of miscarriage too because of their drinking habits. It has been seen that women who drink heavily right up to conception are known to have higher miscarriage risks as compared to those who don’t. The first three months pose a higher risk of miscarriage for such mothers.

Lower chances of conception

lower chances of conception


Drinking about 1-5 drinks every week means that you are lowering your chances at conception. If you drink more than 10 glasses of alcohol in a a week, it takes a toll for the worse. Here is why-

  • Binge drinking is known to make you fatter. And this leads to obesity, which is known as the biggest hindrance for conception. Most alcohol drinks are known to contain high amounts of sugar too, which in turn again leads to weight gain and hampers your fertility.
  • Chances of having unprotected sex during a drunk state is much higher. Contrary to popular beliefs that it could mean unwanted pregnancy it also means unwanted diseases like Chlamydia, which are responsible for causing infertility.
  • Alcohol drinking also means that there is a lower chance of conceiving at later stages. Women are known to reduce their fertility rates and get earlier menopause because of heavy drinking.

The sperm and fertility

sperm and fertility


Along with reduced levels of sperm, alcohol is also known to reduce testosterone levels, which means loss of libido. Furthermore, it is known for metabolising vitamin A, which is essential for development of healthy sperm. On another note, alcohol is known as a toxic for the testes because it reduces production of the sperms too.

What you can do?

say no to alcohol


One of the best options here is to reduce drinking or start drinking less while there is time. You should remember that reducing alcohol would act as a booster to conceive. You should restrain your drinking to 1-2 units of alcohol, which is about a 175 ml glass of wine in a week.

Risks for baby

risks for baby

Health and wellness

You are putting your child at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) because this alcohol goes directly to the baby through your placenta. For the unborn child, this is more of a threat for survival along with risks for the liver. Overall growth and development of the baby is impacted because of heavy drinking.

So quit drinking today if you are planning to start a healthy family in the near future.

0 votes

smoking and infertility

The big question is does smoking cause cancer and infertility- Yes! It does. Why else would there be so many wanring signs on the cigarette packet (kept purposely unreadable). But the sad thing is that even as a non-smoker, inhaling these toxic fumes can make you prone to cancer. And most importantly, it is a deterrent to conception. Smoking has a number of negative impacts on the body and mind - sadly infertility issues in both men and women is a major concern here.

I don’t smoke, but my partner does?

partner smoking

In this case, you become the passive smoker - who inhales all the fumes from the partner, but doesn’t have the option of exhaling the same. And this puts you at a higher risk of the becoming infertile too. Here are some facts that you should know-

How it affects men and women?

smoking men and women

Non smokers are at higher risk of infertility because as mentioned above, they are unable to release this smoke back.Women are 1.5 times more likely to be affected and take longer time get pregnant. Men who smoke rapidly are prone to having lower sperm count. Statistics and researches reveal that passive smokers are less likely to get pregnant. Women also tend to reach menopause much earlier because of smoke.

man smoking

Men not only suffer from lower sperm count and quality, they are also at a threat of having hormonal issues and problems. For women, smoking takes a negative too on the ovulation cycle. This means that you are really uncertain on when you are ovulating and plan out your days when chances of conception are at the highest. Smoking also wrecks the health of the cervical mucus, which reduces fertility risks.

Smoking and cancer

smoking and cancer

You are aware that smoking is one of the biggest threats to cancer. But what you are not aware of is that even if you beat the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation along with other strong medications reduce fertility levels. People loose their urge to have sex, sperm and eggs quality goes down and you become weak too, which physically proves to be a hindrance in conceiving. In some cases, ovaries or the uterus or even prostate has to be removed because of the cancer.

Risks After Conception

pregnant woman smoking

Just because you conceived, doesn't make you any healthier. Women who have conceived but continue smoking or are exposed to passive smoking have a higher risk of miscarriages. Also, it puts the baby at a higher risk of defects and abnormalities.

What can be done?

quit smoking 

The negative effects of smoking can be undone with ease. It will take you about a year, but if you quit smoking now, you are eliminating all of these risks and ensure that you are able to start a healthy family. Try using a nicotine patch and take measures to quit smoking. If your partner is a heavy smoker then help him/ her in the process too.

Follow a detoxifying diet, which includes high fibre fruits, juices and fluids that help in flushing out toxins from the body. Doing so will eliminate the residues of the harsh chemicals within the lungs and other parts. So quit smoking to increase your chances of fertility.


+1 vote

drinking water and fertility

You have heard it all. Don’t eat this if you are trying to conceive, don’t eat that blah, blah. But did you ever hear people comment on - 'make sure you are drinking enough water here'. And water means pure, good old H20 - not sugar and carb laden drinks that you get in the market. Our body is made up of intracellular fluid, which means that our body is mostly made of water. 70% of cell volumes comprise of water. In fact, all of ours cells are surrounded by extracellular fluid or a watery solution. So by now you can guess why water is so important for fertility too.

  • It aids metabolism
  • Works as a lubricant
  • Transports vital nutrients to different body parts
  • Protects organs, heals injuries and helps in maintaining a healthier body

Water and Fertility

drinking water

Drinking a lot of water is generally suggested to boost body functions and flush out toxins. Even post conception, women are highly advised to drink lots of water to help in fluid retention for the fetus. So on the whole, water is essential to get pregnant in the first place - and this applies to both men and women. Water affects your overall health by flushing out toxins and maintain a healthier body. So here’s how water impacts your fertility rates-

Improve uterus health

healthy uterus

Water is known for supporting an array of reproductive functions including uterus health. Since this organ should be in healthy shape for successful implantation, water helps in maintaining the complete uterus cycle - right from menstruation to ovulation. If the uterus is functioning properly, it helps the embryo to implant with ease.

Enhances egg health

water enhances egg health

The body needs nourishment through various sources and water is the safe way to go. Not only will it provide you a healthy nutritional balance, it also ensures that it provides enough protection for your eggs. As mentioned above, cells in the body constitute of water. So to promote growth of healthier eggs, it is vital to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Keeps cervical mucus healthy

The cervical mucus is vital for getting pregnant. It is here that the sperm attaches itself to on the way up to the egg. If the cervical mucus is not in healthy shape, the sperm will not be able to make this journey. As water contributes significantly towards the health of this mucus, it ensures that the sperm is able to make this journey successfully.

Improves semen quality

sperm quality

In men, dehydration is known as the reasons for reduced sperm count. Since semen comprises of spermatozoa, it is provided nourishment and fluids from here. When these sperms are transported in to the female body, they will be unable to reach the egg if their count is low. Having more water will facilitate the same.

So on the whole, your body needs water not only for self-sustenance but also to ensure that crucial nutrients are transported across the body through this water. And if you are not drinking enough water, you could be affecting your fertility rates tremendously.

+1 vote

genetics and fertility

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You can change habits, your lifestyle, etc. when it comes to increasing your chances at conception. But the one thing that is often not considered as an impediment to fertility has to be genetics. Your genes are something that have been passed on from one generation to another, either from your maternal or paternal lineage. Lower sperm count or egg count is often attributed to your genes rather than just lifestyle or your current medical status. Here is how genetics has an impact on your fertility rate-



Image 2

For women, the onset of menopause is the end of their fertile stage. However, for some women it tends to happen much earlier as compared to the other. Menopause is also linked to your reproductive biology. So even if you are living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking, etc. you are still at a risk of earlier menopause.

Lower Sperm Count

lower sperm count

Image 3

In some men, the cause of lower sperm count or even count itself is attributed to their genes. Some men suffer from the problem of chromosome translocation where it is seen that chromosomes swap material. Such individuals are known to have a higher chance of infertility. In fact, this issue is known to have an adverse affect on their partners too who are more prone to miscarriage because of this swapping issue.

Y chromosome Infertility

Y chromosome infertility

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This is a condition, which is known for having an adverse impact on the production of sperm. As a result, it becomes difficult for a man to father a child. In some rare cases, there may be no sperm production at all due to azoospermia. While some men may have a smaller number of sperm cells, which is known as oligospermia. In most cases, one finds that the sperms are also moving at an abnormally slow pace or there is no movement at all. There are assisted technologies and medical solutions available for this issue. However, in some cases, men are affected to the extent when there is actually no mature sperm present in the testes. Referred to as Y chromosome infertility named Sertoli, this cell-only syndrome is often not treatable.

Ovarian Failure

overian failure

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This is a problem that is also associated with genes in women. Some girls are known to suffer from premature ovarian failure, which is also known as POF.  POF has been related to underlying genetic issues. Some genetic factors are responsible for carrying the Fragile X syndrome that is a chromosome issue related to infertility.

What can be done?

Genetics and fertility

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With advancement in medical science, there are alternatives available for treating this issue. In some cases, men are suggested to undergo active genetics treatment and medications that aid in treating an array of these problems. Women can undergo a genetic test for fertility where optimum solutions can be devised.  Recent studies associated with viable egg follicles present in the ovaries showcase positive results, which are known to treat the problems associated with genetic infertility. In some drastic conditions, IVF and other invasive procedures might be suggested to overcome this issue.

Image 1 - Fertility and genetics

Image 2 - ConceptionsFlorida

Image 3 - Medicalnewstoday

Image 4 - Y chromosome infertility

Image 5 - hyderabadendocrinology

Image 6 - Genetics and fertility


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