Recreation or Procreation?
Even if they never say it aloud, on the inside most men are very proud of the fact they have fathered children. Should there be a problem with conception, the general rule of thumb is that the woman has a fertility problem and the testing often begins from that perspective. Thankfully, things are changing and it has become common understanding that when fertility is an issue, the responsibility is a 50/50 split. A man's health and habits dramatically affect his ability to procreate.
The Effects Of Lifestyle Habits On Male Fertility
Lifestyle plays a large part in causes for infertility in men as well as women. Many people of reproductive age use alcohol and tobacco socially and often habitually with little thought given to the repercussions to their fertility. Both alcohol and tobacco are classified as recreational drugs, and they have a profound effect upon conception. The reason these substances are considered drugs is the addictive nature of the active substances in them.
Alcohol has a startling effect upon fertility, causing hormonal imbalances that affect the generation of sperm. Heavy drinkers can suffer from low sperm count, poor sperm motility, and poor sperm morphology (traits of the sperm). Even moderate alcohol consumption can kill off some sperm-producing cells in the testicles and this contributes to poor morphology.
Strong Body, Weak Sperm
Another addictive drug that is gaining prominence in today's world of strong bodies is anabolic steroids. Used as an aid to building the body of their dreams, men take steroids to increase muscle size. The effect of anabolic steroids on the body is profound. Derived from the male hormone, testosterone, steroids can permanently affect fertility in men by decreasing sperm production and increasing the number of abnormal sperm. Steroid users may experience erectile dysfunction and atrophy of the testicles as well.
Check Your Prescriptions For Harmful Effects
Prescription drugs, while necessary for the treatment and/or management of certain illnesses can be an obstacle when it comes to fertility. Such prescription drugs as steroid shots, high blood pressure medication, and antidepressants can all have a negative effect. Men may experience lowered sperm count and erectile dysfunction while taking prescription medications. A discussion with the health care provider may result in a change of medication to avoid problems with conception.
Recreational Drugs Affect Procreation
Along with alcohol, tobacco, steroids, and prescription drugs, there are so-called recreational drugs, which are problematic for men. Marijuana and illicit drugs such as opiates and amphetamines are potential landmines when it comes to conception. According to a study done in 2003, regular marijuana smoking affects male fertility by lowering the sperm count, decreasing the volume of seminal fluid, and affecting the motility of the sperm. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can cause the sperm to slow down significantly when they approach the egg and the result is that they are unable to break through the egg's outer casing.
While recreational drugs provide an avenue for entertainment, when it comes to making babies, they have no place in the equation.