Drug abuse and addiction can lead to serious problems throughout the body, especially over time.
Along with damage to internal organs and changes in the brain, these substances may also lead to issues with normal body functioning and processes, including a woman’s reproductive health. Many women with addiction will not consider these risks until it is too late. Others may not even realize the changes to their body when they are consistently under the influence. Banyan Heartland Treatment Centers answers the question, can drugs affect your period?
Can Drugs Change Your Menstrual Cycle?
Yes, it is entirely possible for female addiction to drugs and alcohol to lead to a change in their reproductive cycles. Of course, every woman’s body is different. Some women have irregular menstrual cycles, to begin with, but substance use can make these problems worse or more pronounced. Just like how some prescription drugs and medications can interfere with your menstrual cycle, illicit drugs or abused drugs may have similar and, in some cases, serious effects on your period and reproductive health.
Cocaine & Your Period
One of the more common illicit drugs that affect your period is cocaine. Cocaine use, especially regular cocaine use, may disrupt the menstrual cycle, interfere with sex hormone levels, and stop ovulation altogether.1 This means that a cocaine addict can go several months without a regular period or not get their period at all. Prolonged cocaine abuse may also cause damage to the fallopian tubes, which can make conceiving a child later more difficult.1 Because of this risk, admission to a cocaine detox center sooner rather than later could save you from heartache down the road.
Opioids & Your Period
With the opioid epidemic, the United States has seen a rise in people misusing and abusing everything from prescription painkillers to synthetic opioids like heroin. This class of drugs is dangerous for several reasons, including how they may affect your menstruation. It is understood that chronic heroin use can lead to irregular periods.2 Additionally, some opioids can impact your flow as well as lead to heavier or lighter periods.3
Alcohol & Your Period
While drugs affect your period in diverse ways, alcohol consumption may also impact your menstrual cycle. While research on the topic is still limited, some studies suggest that women who are addicted to alcohol may experience disruptions in their menstrual cycles, such as changes in sex hormone levels as well as irregular periods.4 Alcoholism treatment could diminish or reverse some of these problems.
Everyone is different. Whether or not doing drugs affects your period will depend on several factors, including the drug being abused, frequency of abuse, length of addiction, interaction with other drugs or medications, hormones, and reproductive health.
Regulating Your Period After Drug Abuse
As we have discussed, a woman’s menstrual cycle and addiction have the potential to be deeply connected to one another, especially if she has abused a substance for a prolonged period. Because doing drugs can affect your period as well as your reproductive health, if you are experiencing any abnormalities with your period, you should talk to your gynecologist immediately. Some of these problems could be signs of more serious issues or lead to fertility problems down the line. Your doctor will be able to investigate these problems further and develop a treatment plan if necessary.
In some cases, regulating your menstrual cycle may be as simple as stopping your drug abuse. It may take a few months for your body to adjust after getting sober and for your period to get back to normal, but it could be all you need. We understand that this may be easier said than done, so our Heartland detox center helps you quit in a safer and more comfortable manner than trying to do so on your own. You will also be in the care of medical professionals who will monitor you and address any problems.
Our Illinois drug rehab also offers addiction treatment for women who are looking to make a meaningful change in the destructive habits that caused these issues. No matter what substance you are abusing, you should get help.
At Banyan Heartland, we want to help you build a life that is free of drugs and alcohol. To begin your journey or just to get more information, call now at 888-280-4763.
- Vice - How Do Illegal Drugs Affect Women’s Fertility?
- NIH - What Are the Medical Complications of Chronic Heroin Use?
- WebMD - Could My Meds Affect My Period?
- Oxford Academic - Menstrual Cycle in Women Addicted to Alcohol During the First Week Following Drinking Cessation—Changes of Sex Hormones Levels in Relation to Selected Clinical Features