Methamphetamine, or meth for short, causes a lot of negative health effects both in the short term and with long-term use in both men and women. For women, though, there are particular health effects that make meth especially harmful. Meth is one of the most addictive substances of abuse, and there is no such thing as harmless experimentation. If you are a woman and you have considered trying meth, these facts about your health should give you pause.
Immediate Effects of Meth
Whether you use meth once or several times, it will impact your health in negative ways. Symptoms of meth use in women and men are often similar. In the short term, meth causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which can be damaging and even deadly if you have an undiagnosed heart condition. It also makes you feel nauseous, panicky, agitated and may make you behave erratically or violently. If you overdose, you can experience seizures, a coma or death. Women are also more likely to engage in sexual activities when using meth, even when using it just once. This means that you are at a greater risk for sexual assault, an unplanned pregnancy or for contracting a sexually transmitted disease if you use meth.
Long-Term Effects of Meth
If you use meth regularly, you can develop irreversible damage to your blood vessels and your brain, as well as chronic high blood pressure. Severe tooth decay, malnutrition, weight loss, respiratory problems and organ damage are also guaranteed with long-term meth use. You may also experience serious psychological problems, like hallucinations, apathy, dementia, depression and psychosis.
Can Methamphetamine Mess With Your Period?
One particular issue with meth that women face is the impact it has on the menstrual cycle. Studies have shown that a significant proportion of women using meth over the long term had abnormal bleeding during their menstrual cycles or other types of cycle disruptions. The cause seems to be the effect meth has on hormones. It alters the release of sex hormones that control the menstrual cycle.
Meth and Pregnancy
Perhaps the most serious issue women using meth face is pregnancy and associated complications. Using meth while pregnant puts your child at risk for a number of birth defects, including congenital defects of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, cleft palate and limb defects. Babies born to mothers using meth are also more likely to be born prematurely and to have a low birth weight. These babies are also more likely to have developmental problems as infants and young children. Women will always face specific health problems when using drugs like meth. Our bodies and brains react in different ways to drugs and we have the issue of pregnancy to consider as well. You should know that there is no such thing as a functioning meth addict and that if you think you can get by using meth recreationally, you are giving yourself lifelong health problems. Never start using meth, but if you have started, stop now and ask for help if you struggle to quit.