A doctor taking a patient’s pulse

As our medical capabilities become more advanced, there are more medications to treat ailments, infections, and diseases. However, while many drugs are helpful for treating a variety of ailments, there are now more medications that affect fertility.

Using medication does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to conceive. However, we recommend that you and your partner consult your medical practitioner to discuss all the medications you take and how those drugs may affect fertility. They may be able to recommend alternative medications that would have less of an impact on fertility.

Common Medications that Affect Fertility in Men

There are several classifications of drugs that affect fertility in men. Here are some of the ones best known for making conception more difficult.

  • Many blood pressure medications can cause a decrease in libido and erectile dysfunction. Medications to treat blood pressure, known as calcium channel blockers, can inhibit the sperm from fertilizing the egg. In addition, there are blood pressure medications that can significantly reduce the volume and motility of semen produced and decrease sperm concentration.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics, be aware that these may affect sperm production. However, the more significant concern is the need for antibiotics to treat a fever related to an infection or illness. The fever can overheat the sperm in the testes, affecting sperm count for a few months.
  • Pain medications, such as opioids, are known to cause erectile dysfunction and issues with ejaculation. These medications work by lowering testosterone levels, which decreases sperm production and may result in male infertility.
  • Anabolic steroids are frequently used to reduce body fat while boosting muscle mass. These drugs are popular with fitness enthusiasts and athletes. However, these drugs affect fertility in men because they negatively impact the hormones needed to produce sperm.
  • Marijuana, both recreational and prescription, is a known drug/medication that affects fertility. Couples trying to become pregnant should speak with their doctor, as the impact depends on the dosage and frequency of use. A healthcare provider can discuss treatment alternatives.
  • The same is true for tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes or cigars and vaping can cause severe health conditions. Research also shows that tobacco use hurts sperm production and mobility. So, if you or your partner smokes and you’re experiencing difficulty conceiving, quitting may help.
  • Because alcohol is a legal substance that does not require a physician’s prescription, it is not considered a medication that affects fertility. However, the amount of alcohol consumed by you or your partner can negatively impact your ability to conceive a child. Consuming more than 10-14 alcoholic drinks per week decreases testosterone production and increases male estrogen levels, reducing sperm production.

Helping to Create Your Dream Family

At Family Creations, we have over 15 years of experience helping couples and individuals start or grow their families. We specialize in working with couples experiencing infertility through egg donation and surrogacy. Contact us today to learn more. 

by Julia McConnell | Last updated on : February 14, 2023