Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
156 Doctors are Online

Does crystal meth damage the sperm count and cause physical or mental disabilities?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 922 Questions
I want to know if Crystal Meth can damage, attach or pass through sperm which in turn could cause physical or mental disabilities either at birth or later in life? What about pot, mdma, ecstacy? I know they can damage sperm count. But my question is whether or not it could damage the sperm which could cause birth defects or other problems later in the child's life.
Posted Thu, 19 Jul 2012 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 4 hours later

Thanks for writing in.
I am a medical specialist with an additional degree in cardiology,
I read your question with diligence and trying to answer on basis of scientific evidence produces by various reaserchers.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut, Eastern XXXXXXX Medical School, and the University of California at Irvine, showed that anandamides -- marijuana-like compounds -- exist in men's and women's reproductive fluids that sperm are exposed to as they move from the vagina to the fallopian tube. A high concentration of anandamide slows the sperm's swimming and may inhibit the sperm from binding to the egg's coat. Anandamide and THC -- the substance responsible for the "high" produced by marijuana -- also regulated changes to the sperm's structure during the process of preparing them to penetrate the egg's coat, according to the study, funded by the University at Buffalo-SUNY and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
There is no evidence of any damage to sperm and no evidence in medical science literature to show that there are any long term side effects in the child.

(MDMA or "ecstasy") is consumed mainly by young population. For this reason, it is especially relevant to take into consideration the effects on the reproductive system.
For the sake of studying, various animal studies have been conducted. These concluded : A significantly higher incidence of DNA damage in Comet Test in sperm, tubular degeneration and interstitial oedema in testes was found. At all doses tested, sperm motility, morphology, mating and pregnancy, and number of implantation sites were not affected. This study fills the existing gap of knowledge about the chronic effects of MDMA in reproductive function using a realistic experimental design. Taking into account the higher sensitivity of human males, some concerns about the effects on the reproductive health still remain. But, it would be safer to take a "drug holiday" while planning conception. I realise it is easier said than done.
I hoe I have answered your questiona my answer has been useful. If not please ask a followup query, I will be most happy to answer at the soonest.
With Best wishes

Dr Anil Grover,
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does crystal meth damage the sperm count and cause physical or mental disabilities? 2 hours later
Thank you for your reply. I find this very interesting. Especially when drugs like MDMA have been found to damage the sperms DNA yet not affect it's motility or morphility. In the case of invetro fertilization with ICSI, the embryologist looking through the mircorscope would not see any negative physical attributes (mobility/morphility) caused by drugs however there could be DNA damage. So the embryolgist could be selecting sperm that they think is great but in actuallity it could be damaged. Since the couple I am asking for ARE doing IVF with ICSI, can you suggest any pre-tests that can be done to sperm to check for DNA damage? If so how does this this called DNA fragmentation?? Equally as important are there any techniques the embryolgist could do to ensure that the sperm they are choosing has no DNA damage.

Also you mention in your reply about "drug holiday"...what does that mean exactly....days, weeks....could 5 days before ejactulating be sufficient?

Lastly you do not mention anything about Crystal this becasue there are no studies on it?

Thank you SO MUCH...this service it outstanding. We value your answers to our questions.
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 2 hours later
Thank you XXXXXXX for getting back and kind words about service. I forgot about Crystal Meth. If one is male one need not worry no proven effect on sperm. You are right on one count what happens if the drug user is the mother? So, far no case reports.
DNA fingerprinting is probably you mean when you say about studying DNA. Well technically, it has not only become possible but widespread. As predicted by this quote about publication few years ago. I quote:
"An international team of scientists has discovered a way of testing IVF embryos using DNA fingerprinting that could one day be used to select the ones that are more likely to implant successfully and grow to full term and thereby increase the likelihood of a successful pregnancy.

The study is the work of researchers from Monash University and Monash IVF in XXXXXXX XXXXXXX Australia, Genesis Athens Hospital and Athens University in Greece, and was published on 13th May 2008 in the advance access online issue of the journal Human Reproduction.

The researchers tested the DNA of early in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos before implanting into the womb, and then compared the results with the DNA of the healthy babies that were born, and found a cluster of genes that could be used to establish which embryos are likely to make it to full term XXXXXXX
I guess it depends on stand of FDA of indications of DNA fingerprinting, there are some limitation.

If you have any more query I will be happy to answer. If none please close the query with comments.

Best Wishes
Dr Anil Grover,
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Medical Procedures
Lab Tests
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Psychiatrist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor