It is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that is mostly used as a recreational drug. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected and causes feelings of euphoria, heightened sexual arousal, and disconnection from reality. While many people have a general concept about the dangers of drug abuse, not everyone is aware of the side effects of cocaine. Cocaine and infertility are associated with each other in that the longer a person’s addiction persists, the more likely they are to experience problems related to their reproductive system or conception. Cocaine use can disrupt a woman’s ovulation cycle and a man’s sperm count. When abused during pregnancy, cocaine can also cause miscarriages and birth defects. At our drug and alcohol rehab in Gilman, we help those with drug and alcohol addictions change their lives and improve their health so they can avoid problems like infertility.
Compared to the amount of data on cocaine and male fertility, not much exists regarding how cocaine affects fertility in females, but, cocaine abuse does, in fact, impact female fertility. Drug abuse and menstruation are a nasty combination, and cocaine abuse, specifically, affects the menstrual cycle by causing a hormonal imbalance. It increases the level of a hormone called prolactin, which causes breast growth and milk production in women who have given birth. Because this hormone is normally at high levels following a birth, a spike in prolactin in a woman who isn’t pregnant can prevent proper ovulation and menstrual cycles. Both these processes are important when trying to conceive. A woman who is withdrawing from cocaine may also experience a spike in prolactin, so a cocaine detox may prevent ovulation for a certain amount of time.
A more well-known fact is that cocaine use during pregnancy can cause a variety of birth defects known as congenital disabilities, also referred to as congenital anomalies. These are structural and functional abnormalities that may occur in a baby during pregnancy. Congenital disabilities include low birth weight, low IQ, premature birth, miscarriage, stroke or brain damage in the baby, and even stillbirth. Using cocaine while pregnant is life-threatening to the baby. Unfortunately, many people who abuse cocaine aren’t aware of their ovulation or menstrual cycles and may not even realize they’re pregnant until something physical occurs to indicate it. Not only can cocaine affect a baby, but it can also impact fertility and a woman’s ability to conceive.
Despite how cocaine affects fertility, a person with a cocaine addiction may find it difficult to quit. Physical dependence on cocaine is difficult to break out of without proper help. At Banyan Heartland, we offer a cocaine addiction treatment to help those struggling with cocaine abuse overcome their addiction and turn their lives around.
Cocaine and fertility in men generally refers to low sperm count and motility. While sperm count refers to the number of sperm, sperm motility refers to the sperm’s ability to move through the female reproductive tract. When the two are affected, it makes conceiving much more difficult. Cocaine affects sperm by binding to receptors on cells located in the testicles, disrupting sperm production. Once the cocaine has bonded to these receptors, the sperm cells are constructed incorrectly, making it difficult to produce sperm and release them. The cells in the testicles may begin to die, preventing them from becoming sperm.
Another way cocaine affects fertility in men is by affecting brain function and cell production. Because cocaine is a stimulant that targets the brain, it increases the level of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemical signals are vital for developing new cells and sustaining communication between cells. When these lines of communication are cut by cocaine, it makes it difficult for the body to produce sperm. Cocaine is also known for affecting the heart and causing constriction in the blood vessels. This prevents oxygen from flowing to all the tissue in the body, which could kill cells that play an important role in the reproductive system. Permanent cell damage can make it extremely difficult or even impossible to conceive.
Cocaine is a powerful drug that can ruin a person’s life if they don’t get help. The effects of cocaine on fertility can be heartbreaking.