Drugs of any kind, both legal and illegal, can have harmful side effects on the body. The use and abuse of drugs have often been linked to infertility. But it’s important to know about the specific drugs that can cause the most harm to your chances of conception. That’s what we’re here for.
Read on to learn about what drugs can cause infertility in females and potential treatment options that can increase the possibility of conception.
How drugs cause infertility in women
Prolonged periods of drug misuse can cause significant damage to a female’s reproductive system, such as the fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix. Drugs can interrupt the important bodily processes that allow a female to conceive a child, including:
- Hormone production.
There are also specific drugs, like stimulants, that can increase the user’s risk of a miscarriage.
Drugs that could cause infertility in women
Drugs and medications are used for all sorts of ailments. For example, over-the-counter pain relievers are drugs that are often necessary for dealing with pain from injuries or menstrual cramps. But many people also partake in recreational drug use, which involves illicit substances that can cause mild to severe long-term effects on the body, such as infertility.
Drugs that can cause infertility in females include:
- Crystal meth.
There are also a variety of medications prescribed for mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia, that can cause infertility in females, including:
In addition, alcohol is a drug that can affect your ability to conceive. In fact, a study showed that fecundity — the measure of fertility — can be decreased by 18% due to heavy drinking (two or more bottles of wine in a week).
Potential treatment options for infertility caused by drugs in females
If you have been having sex without a form of birth control for one year without conceiving, a medical professional can diagnose you with infertility. If you use certain drugs, such as the ones listed above, then the substances could likely be the cause. But that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of having a baby.
The good news is that many cases of drug-induced infertility can often be improved or reversed by no longer using. There are also many fertility treatments that a couple can explore to boost their chances of conception:
- Ovulation induction (OI) and ovarian stimulation (OS) — Improving your ovulation is one of the first steps that a specialist will suggest for infertility, regardless of the cause. You will receive a prescription for entry-level drugs, clomiphene citrate or letrozole, which can be administered through injection or oral tablets. The meds will help induce ovulation as well as stimulate your ovaries to increase the number of eggs released during ovulation.
- Levothyroxine — Since hormone production can be affected by drugs, it’s important to consider a treatment option that will improve your thyroid gland function. The gland function is determined by checking the levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). High TSH levels have been linked to infertility. If necessary, your fertility specialist will prescribe levothyroxine and start you on the lowest dose to help control your thyroid gland function.
- Intrauterine insemination — If a male’s sperm is unable to reach an egg to fertilize it, intrauterine insemination may be recommended. It’s a procedure where sperm is directly implanted into the uterus. This can help increase the number of healthy sperm cells that can lead to egg fertilization.
- In vitro fertilization — IVF is a process that’s sometimes explored by couples with infertility when other methods have failed. The process involves removing eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. IVF involves multiple procedures, which can make it a costly option for some. It’s also not effective for every case of infertility.
Fertility Cloud can help you treat infertility in females caused by drugs
We all know that long-term use and abuse of drugs can damage the body, but people may not consider the possibility of infertility as a result of occasional recreational drug use. But just like all cases of infertility, there’s hope. Even if you’ve taken drugs that have caused irregular periods and disrupted ovulation, there are still treatment options that can help increase your chances of conceiving a baby. And that’s where we come in.