A medical expert has said that prolonged use of painkillers reduces sex drive and leads to low sperm count.
The medical doctor, Arikawe Adeolu who works at the Federal Medical Centre in Nigeria, told Nigerian media that the type of painkillers which cause these conditions are narcotic analgesic (painkillers) such as morphine.
The medical expert said morphine affects the hormonal balance of the body and leads to an increase in production of prolactin, causing a decrease in libido in both men and women since prolactin blocks the other hormones responsible for reproduction.
According to him, the increase in prolactin – a hormone which help initiate and maintain breast milk production in pregnant and nursing women – in the body could also cause infertility in both sexes.
Adeolu also mentioned antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and alcohol as other commonly used things that could cause sexual dysfunction.
“For anti-depressants, they affect a particular neurotransmitter which is called serotonin. Serotonin is very important in the control of sexual behaviour.
“Once the neurotransmitter level is affected, there is a risk of sexual dysfunction, which would lead to reduction in sexual drive, inability to have an erection and ejaculation in men.
“For women, it can cause a decrease in libido – that is the sexual drive, delayed orgasm and wetness of the vagina,” Adeolu said.
Adeolu however said the drugs cause sexual dysfunction when used for a long time or overdosed.
He added that the low sex drive caused by use of these drugs is not permanent and could be reversed by stopping using the drugs.