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Further reading for your interest:
The Naked Truth About Sex and Opioids
In 2017, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a review of 10 studies on opioids and erectile dysfunction. The authors determined that the risk for erectile dysfunction among men who used opioids went up 96 percent. (So, basically just about EVERY man who abuses opioids is likely to experience this problem!)
Studies have shown that there is a link between opioid addiction and a deficiency in androgen (the male sex hormone). A 2018 paper published in Sexual Medicine Reviews Reported that between 50 and 90 percent of men who chronically abuse opioids have low testosterone and/or sperm count.
In 2018, Pain Medicine reported on a study of more 11,500 men and women. About half of the group had chronic pain not related to cancer. Those who were taking opioid painkillers for an extended period of time felt a decreased interest in sex and decreased sexual satisfaction.
Research shows that long-term use or misuse of opioids negatively affects fertility in both men and women. Women are less likely to conceive and men are less likely to produce viable sperm.
Many men and women who abuse heroin or opioid painkillers report that they are unable to achieve an orgasm while under the influence of opioids and for some time after. The clinical term for this is “anorgasmia.”
There is still a lot to learn about how opioids affect sex and fertility. In fact, there is very limited scientific research available on this topic. However; as the nation’s thought leaders continue to seek solutions to the U.S. opioid epidemic, opioids and their relationship to sex are being studied in more depth and with greater frequency.
The Takeaway about Opioids, Sex and Fertility
Most people who are abusing opioids know they are dangerous. They understand the risks. They know that an overdose is a very real possibility. The problem is, those who are addicted always think “it won’t happen to me.” The truth is, it COULD happen to you.
In the meantime, if you are addicted to opioids, you may already be experiencing some sexual problems as a result. You may have a decreased sex drive or you may not enjoy sex like you used to. The other problems you have might be unseen. You may be destroying your reproductive system, making it difficult for you to produce children.
There are a hundred reasons to get help for an opioid addiction. A substance use disorder affects women in profound ways. The negative impact these deadly drugs have on your sex life and your reproductive system is just one more reason to get sober.