Misusing or over-consuming drugs or alcohol can affect one’s fertility, especially for women. In fact, the aforementioned addictions are considered to be responsible for infertility in both male and female communities. 

But, how does substance abuse affect one’s fertility? 

Well, according to an infertility specialist, drug misuse affects the health of your reproductive system by decreasing the organs’ efficiency. 

For example, it can shrink the size of your testes and reduce the production of testosterone to some extent. Additionally, substance abuse can also lower the quality of sperm count in your body and stop the production of the same. 

However, the good news is that you can reverse your condition by undergoing an alcohol addiction treatment procedure. Besides, following a proper diet plan can also be beneficial for your cause. 

How Does Drug Misuse Affect Women’s Fertility? 

Whether you believe it or not, female fertility is considered to be the most susceptible to drug or alcohol addiction. Aside from this, many prescription drugs can also disrupt the procedure of conception from within. The following are some instances where substance abuse can be negatively impactful for a woman –

  • Changes in the regular menstrual cycle.
  • Alteration in hormone production, like the hypothalamus, thyroid, pituitary, etc.
  • Affects the whole reproductive tract, including the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tube.
  • Disrupts the ovulation procedure.

That’s not all, though.

Aside from the illegal ones, legal drugs can affect your health pretty eminently too. As per a study, combined usage of caffeine and alcohol can magnify the effect of drinking by almost 3x depending on your health.

In addition, the usage of tobacco thickens the cervical mucus and prevents the sperms from reaching the eggs properly. This, in turn, can also pose a prominent reason behind an individual’s infertility issues.

Drugs And Infertility In Women – Diving Deeper 

Illicit or illegal drugs can affect your health and fertility pretty differently. If you use more than one of the following ones, their overall negative effect will add up even more – 

  • Taking opioids regularly can disrupt the proceedings of your pituitary gland and lower the hormone production of your hypothalamus. It, in turn, can lead to irregularities in your menstrual cycle and halt ovulation. 
  • Various stimulants, such as crystal meth and cocaine, can affect your health adversely and damage your reproductive system even more. Hence, if you take these drugs regularly, it can increase your risk of miscarriages to some extent. 
  • Using cannabis for a prolonged period can disrupt a healthy menstrual mass. In addition, it can also decrease ovulation and lower the production of eggs altogether. Furthermore, it prevents the production of sex hormones. 

Moreover, using the aforesaid drugs can also prompt irritable bowel syndrome in women. However, you can take care of IBS by exercising and taking medication. 

How Does Drug Misuse Affect Men’s Fertility?

Unlike women, drug misuse does not affect the whole reproductive system of men. However, it can affect the production of sperm, which, sequentially, may lead to infertility. Aside from this, the other issues with tobacco and alcohol consumption can include – 

  • Testosterone impairment. 
  • Sexual dysfunction problems.
  • Endocrine hormone issues. 

Furthermore, the substances, which affect female infertility, can be upsetting for male fertility as well. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

  • Drinking alcohol regularly can affect the quality of your sperm. The count of the same may get reduced as well, primarily due to the shrinkage of testes. 
  • Abusing street drugs and opioids may interfere with your overall testosterone level and reduce to sexual drive massively. 
  • Smoking pot may lead to massively-decreased sperm production and sluggishness. Besides, it may also initiate issues related to your endocrine hormone production. 
  • Anabolic steroids are, in essence, excellent for building your muscle structure. However, if taken for a prolonged period, it can also block healthy sperm production. 
  • Stimulants are, in truth, primarily associated with decreased sperm production. But, in some cases, it can also cause various lifestyle behaviors that may reduce fertility. 

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs 

As of yet, we have discussed everything that you need to know about substance abuse and fertility. Hence, in this section, we will try to answer some of the questions that may come to your mind regarding the titular topic. Let’s get started, then. 

How Can Drugs Cause Infertility?

Most drugs, especially the illegal ones, tend to release toxins after being consumed by a user. It, in turn, can affect your gonads and decrease the production or count of your sperm. 

How Do Opioids Affect Fertility? 

According to studies, opioids generally affect your endocrine system first. It can affect the production of gonadotropin and luteinizing hormones to some extent. Besides, opioids can also decrease the production of testosterone, which plays a crucial role in male reproduction. 

What Are The Signs of Being Infertile?

The signs of infertility can differ when it comes to men and women. For instance, due to infertility, the latter generally encounters the following problems – 

  • Heavy or painful periods. 
  • No periods or experiencing irregularities in the same. 
  • Fluctuations in hormone production and balance. 
  • Experiencing a sense of pain during intercourse. 
  • Growth of facial hair or reduced sex drive. 

On the other hand, common symptoms of infertility in men include – 

  • Swelling or pain in the testicles. 
  • Alterations in sexual drive or desire. 
  • Having issues with ejaculating. 
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection. 
  • Firm and small testicles. 

All of these symptoms can be caused by various other reproduction-related conditions too. Hence, if you are encountering any of the aforementioned, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible. 


According to a study, almost 15% to 20% of people experience infertility when trying to conceive. Amongst them, nearly 30% of the cases are caused by drug addiction. 

Thus, if you want to be a father or a mother, you will have to take care of your addiction first. Consult with a doctor if you cannot leave it by yourself. 

Besides, we will also ask you to exercise or perform yoga whenever possible. It can help you reduce your stress, improve your sex drive, and boost your chances of becoming a parent!


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One Response to Fertility & Substance Abuse: How They Are Connected

  1. Thank you such valuable information. You nailed it.

    on April 18, 2022 at 1:10 am Tayyaba

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