Semen evaluation in heroin and methadone addicts

Acta Eur Fertil. 1985 Jul-Aug;16(4):245-9.


We studied 32 heroin and methadone addicts, divided into 4 groups according to the type of drugs used: 5 heroin-dependent, 10 taking methadone plus heroin more or less constantly, 10 taking methadone plus heroin occasionally, and 7 taking methadone only. 93% of the heroin addicts and 65% of those taking methadone had abnormal semen. The most frequent abnormality was in motility (78%). Teratozoospermia was the second most frequent (28%) and oligozoospermia the third (16%). The 7 patients taking methadone only had neither teratozoospermia nor oligozoospermia. This semen pathology is probably secondary to decreased testosterone production, with relative hypofunction of the seminal tracts and the accessory glands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Heroin Dependence / complications*
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone* / adverse effects
  • Methadone* / therapeutic use
  • Oligospermia / chemically induced*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects


  • Methadone