Medications and Male Infertility
Prescribed medications are designed to help you recover from an illness and ease the symptoms of various disorders and disease. While most people realize that medications can have side effects, sometimes those medication side effects can be more than you bargained for.
There are a variety of prescription medication that can lead to male infertility, often temporary but sometimes permanent.
Arthritis medication, depression drugs, high blood pressure medication, drugs for digestive problems as well as antibiotics and cancer drugs are just a few of the medications that can lead to interferences with sperm production, sexual function and ejaculation. Here is a look at some of the common medications and drugs that can cause a man to experience fertility problems.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Calcium channel blockers are typically prescribed for people with hypertension to control high blood pressure. They work by changing the way calcium moves into cells in the heart and blood vessels, thereby causing the blood vessels to relax.
This in turn increases the amount of blood and oxygen supplied to heart helping to minimize the amount of work the heart needs to do.
It is thought that calcium channel blockers interfere with the fertilization process. Specifically, they seem to prevent sperm from being able to penetrate an egg.
However, switching to another type of hypertension medication is usually sufficient to restore fertility. There are other types of hypertension medications that can be prescribed that are not calcium channel blockers and therefore do not affect your fertility.
Used as an ulcer medication as well as in people with reflux disease, cimetidine helps to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is used in both men and women.
For both men and women, regular use of the drug has been found to increase prolactin levels, which can result in female infertility as well as male fertility problems.
In men, this increase in prolactin can cause a decrease in LH and testosterone levels resulting in a lowered sperm count, decreased libido and decreased sexual functioning, all of which can contribute to male infertility.
If you are using cimetidine medications to help deal with an ulcer or reflux disease, talk with your doctor about switching to an alternative medication which will not interfere with your fertility.