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Dear men, these drugs can make you infertile

<p><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/penile%20implant%20body%20image.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></span> </p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">
</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Drugs use whether legally prescribed or illegally acquired may have adverse effects on male fertility. The spectrum of these drugs is extensive spanning from legal to illegal drugs. Even clinically prescribed drugs through moderated can have the same effect. Should you be using these drugs and have difficulty initiating pregnancy, it is advisable you seek medical attention. Dr Ahmed Yousef, Consultant Urologist at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi points out some of the drugs likely to cause low quality sperm and male infertility.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Steroids</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Anabolic steroids are commonly abused drugs used to build muscle mass and/or decrease body fat. Testosterone is an anabolic steroid. The use of these drugs is increasing among non-competitive athletes and non-athletes for fitness purposes.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Unfortunately, fitness and muscle-building dietary supplements from less reputable sources may be tainted with anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids harm male fertility the same way testosterone does - by interfering with the hormone signals that are needed to produce sperm. Just how much damage is done depends on the drugs, dose and how long a man takes them. Most men will recover sperm production three to 12 months after they stop taking the drug.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Because of the strong negative impact of anabolic steroids on male fertility and the other health concerns related to these substances, men are advised not to use these drugs.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Alcohol</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Moderate intake of alcohol does not appear to affect male fertility. However, heavy alcohol consumption (more than 10-14 drinks a week) may decrease the production of testosterone thereby increasing the rate at which testosterone is cleared from the bloodstream and increase a man&#39;s estrogen levels. All of this can cause a lower testosterone level, which can affect sperm production.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Men who drink more than 10-14 alcoholic beverages per week on a regular basis should consider drinking less.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Tobacco</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Smoking tobacco is linked to serious health conditions. Babies in households with people who smoke are much more likely to have serious respiratory illness such as severe asthma, pneumonia and repeated ear infection. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has also been linked to smokers in the household. Smoking also has a negative impact on your sperm production and the movement of sperm. For these reasons, couples who are trying to conceive should stop smoking.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Marijuana</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Marijuana contains a substance called THC, this may decrease sperm production and weakens sexual drive by interfering with the production of testosterone. THC may also have a direct harmful effect on the movement of sperm.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Chemotherapy</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Men undergoing chemotherapy medications treatment may experience an infertility episode. This is because all drugs used to treat cancer inhibit sperm production. Depending on the type of chemotherapy and the duration of treatment, men may have return of sperm production within two years. In many men, sperm production never returns and the man becomes infertile. If you are preparing to go on chemotherapy, talk to your doctor about freezing sperm before starting the chemotherapy.</span></p><p><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Opiates (narcotics)</strong></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">These are prescription medications for treating pain and addiction. Long-term use of opiates can disrupt the signals that control testosterone production, which can cause low testosterone and decrease the quantity and quality of the sperm. The extent of the damage depends on the type of opiates are, the dose and how long they&#39;ve been used.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Men taking opiates to treat addiction should speak with their addiction counselor about the impact of their medications on fertility, as some treatments are less harmful than others.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">There is no evidence that the short-term use of opiates has a negative effect on male fertility. If you&#39;re on a short course of opiates, for instance to control pain after surgery or a broken bone, take these medications according to the instructions given. If you take opiates for weeks or months, talk to your provider about how to cut back on opiate use. </span></p><p><em style="font-family: helvetica;">By Dr Ahmed Yousef, Consultant Urologist at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi</em></p><p><span style="font-family: helvetica;">This article was first published in Business Daily on May 20, 2022</span></p>

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