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Long term effects of morphine on sex and pregnancy (INFOGRAPHIC)

From this infographic you can learn what morphine does to men’s and woman’s general and reproductive health, and how it can influence infants and sucklings.

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Morphine influences the reproductive health of both men and women. In men, it can decrease sperm motility. The risks for females can be terrifying, as morphine can affect a pregnancy and fetus through the bloodstream and later, through mother’s milk.

More here on the risks of using morphine and its impact on sex, sexuality, and reproduction. Then, we invite your questions or comments at the end.

Effects of Morphine on sex and sexuality

Men and women who use high doses of long-term morphine have a great risk of experiencing changes in hormones levels, decreased libido and decreased potency. Main risks include:

  • decreased libido
  • decreased potency
  • fertility problems
  • contraction of HIV/AIDS (shared needles)

Effects of Morphine on male and female reproduction

Effects on male reproduction

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  • abnormal ejaculation
  • decreased testosterone levels
  • difficulties discharging semen
  • gynaecomastia (enlargement of men’s breasts)
  • impaired sexual drive and ability
  • morphine affects the prostate
  • reduction of secretory activity of seminal vesicles

Effects on female reproduction

  • disruption of ovarian cyclist
  • fertility issues
  • hormonal changes in the body
  • irregular menstrual periods
  • morphine crosses the placental barrier
  • morphine is excreted in breast milk
  • partially inhibited sexual behavior
  • risk of sexually transmitted diseases
  • stopping of menstrual periods

Effects on a fetus

  • brain damage
  • bulging soft spot on baby’s head
  • death if morphine was taken during late pregnancy
  • difficulty growing and gaining weight
  • opioid withdrawal after baby is born
  • pass infections such as HIV, hepatitis b or c,
  • persistent vomiting and diarrhea in babies
  • respiratory depression in neonate
  • smaller body weight

Effects on early childhood

  • head circumference
  • increased response latencies
  • increased social problems
  • lower body weight
  • lower task completion rates
  • poorer executive function
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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