Can Drug Abuse Lead to Infertility in Men?
If you are wondering whether drug use can impact fertility in men, then the answer is a clear-cut - 'yes'. Drug use or abuse can adversely affect the male reproductive system so much so that it can result in infertility. Let's take a look at how drug abuse leads to infertility in men.
Reduced Sperm Production
Certain illicit drugs, like marijuana, contain an active ingredient called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When this ingredient enters the body of a man, it interferes with the sperm production and leads to a decreased production. It also weakens the libido and decreases the production of testosterone as well. The result is low sperm count.
Some drugs act on the blood vessels of the body and cause them to narrow down. This is known as vasoconstriction. Such a condition prevents the blood to flow to the penis and results in erectile dysfunction. Cocaine is one such drug that is known to bring about this effect.
Lower Fertilisation Rates
Several drugs, including heroin, Vicodin, and OxyContin, are known to suppress the GnRH hormone, which is usually produced by the pituitary gland. As a result, there is a decline in the production of hormones required for sperm creation. They can also fragment DNA existing inside the sperm, which leads to low fertilisation rates and even miscarriage.
Damaged Seminiferous Tubules
There are some insidious drugs that cause damage to the seminiferous tubules in a man's body. The tubules are the place where sperm develop, reach maturity, and then travel to the testes. Meth or ice (metamphetamine) is among those drugs that cause such effect.
Diminished Function of Testes
The use of some drugs can affect the hormone signals that are essential for sperm production and causes the diminished function of the testes. Steroids are among those drugs that can create such an impact in a man's body.