Drug Of Choice

December 14, 2007

Maybe It's What You're Using

The investigation into the causes of infertility may end at the point of discovering that the use of prescription or recreational drugs, alcohol or smoking may be preventing a couple from conceiving.  All of these things have a very profound effect upon the reproductive systems of both men and women.  Many unexplained infertility cases can probably be traced back to use of drugs and alcohol.

Drugs are Still Drugs

Prescription drugs, given by a doctor for a specific medical condition, can sometimes render a woman or man infertile - unable to conceive.  It is very important to speak with your health care provider in cases where prescription medicines are needed.  Perhaps the medications can be evaluated for their effect upon conception and if they are affecting the process negatively, there may be an alternative which will do the job without the side effects.  The reproductive system is delicate and such things as steroid shots, medication for high blood pressure and antidepressants can all affect it negatively.  While the most common side effect of these drugs is loss of libido, there are also such repercussions as a lowered sperm count, erectile dysfunction and irregularities in the menstrual cycle.  If a person feels their medications are a hindrance they should check in with the doctor - and continue taking the medication until a suitable replacement has been found.

The Affects of Alcohol

Alcohol, while not directly considered a drug by many, still has the same effects in many cases as drugs do.  Heavy drinking by either a man or woman affects fertility as well as instigates hormonal imbalances.  These imbalances ultimately affect the generation of both sperm and ovum.  Heavy female drinkers can suffer from luteal phase defects in which case there is inadequate function of the corpus luteum, a yellow mass formed in the ovary which secretes progesterone.  Anovulation, the failure, cessation or suppression of ovulation and amenorrhea, the cessation of menstruation, are also possible effects of heavy drinking by women.  In men who are heavy drinkers, there are increased incidents of low sperm count, poor sperm motility and poor sperm morphology - the traits of the sperm.

The effects of moderate consumption of alcohol by both men and women are not well known.  However, it does seem quite likely that even moderate alcohol consumption can kill some of the sperm producing cells in the testicles and can contribute to faulty sperm morphology.  In women, as with heavy drinking, the primary effect of even light alcohol consumption is hormonal imbalance.

Just Say No

If a couple seriously wants to conceive, then there are no avenues to be left unexplored.  Perhaps the problem is simply a "recreational" one and that can be very easily remedied.

Alcohol and reproduction do not mix, so if you’re an alcoholic who wants to have a child, better sign up for an alcohol addiction counseling program.

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