Can You Smoke Marijuana When Trying To Conceive?
Marijuana use in the USA is exploding. Millions of adults in early childbearing age report marijuana use in the last year. Can marijuana use impact your fertility and make it more difficult if you are trying to conceive?
Marijuana is widely used and its use is becoming more common. Marijuana is consumed in a number of different ways.
Smoking is the most common. it can also be eaten in various forms, used with ease cigarettes and even absorbed directly through the skin.
Understanding whether marijuana will affect your fertility is extremely important. Today I am going to discuss four large-scale medical studies to try to answer that question.
Time to pregnancy
The first study looked at something called TTP or time to pregnancy. It's a pretty simple concept. It measures how long it takes couples to become pregnant when they are actually trying to become pregnant.
This study was fairly large involving 758 males and over 1,000 females. In this group about 16% of the men reported using marijuana while trying to conceive. About 11% of the women reported using while trying. 5% of the men reported daily marijuana use compared to 3% of the women.
For those men and women who reported never using marijuana, it took an average of 13.7 months for men and 20 months for women to conceive.
In those men and women who reported using marijuana everyday, the average time it took to conceive was 12.2 months for men and 16 months for women.
After taking into account a bunch of factors like age and marital status, previous children, and previous fertility testing or treatment, they found there was no difference in the length of time it took to get pregnant between daily users of marijuana and those who never used marijuana.
The researchers also looked at those who reported using marijuana weekly or monthly. They also found no impact in these groups on the it took to get pregnant.
So based on this study it wouldn't seem like marijuana makes it harder to get pregnant. But what if the people in the study weren't being honest about their marijuana use.
TTC couples tested for marijuana use
Our second study not only asked women about marijuana use, but also tested them for marijuana use. There were two very interesting findings:
- Less than half of the women who tested positive for marijuana use, actually reported that they used marijuana.
- The chance for pregnancy in a given month was reduced by about half in those women who either reported marijuana use, or tested positive.
Marijuana effects on sperm
Our third study was focused on sperm and tried to determine if marijuana use affected sperm numbers or caused other types of problems with sperm.
There has been some studies in the past which suggested that marijuana use could cause a decrease in sperm numbers. This new study looked at 662 men who are being evaluated because their partners were having trouble getting pregnant.
All of these men had testing of their sperm and some of them also have hormone blood testing.
The results were very surprising:
Men who reported smoking marijuana at least once, which was over half the men studied, actually had higher sperm counts than men who had never smoked marijuana.
The average sperm count in men who had used marijuana was about 63 million compared to those who had never smoked which was 45 million.
Both groups showed a normal amount of sperm. Normal is considered more than 20 million.
Another interesting result was found when they looked at how many men in each group had an abnormal semen analysis, as determined from a standard from the World Health Organization.
The results showed that men who were ever marijuana users were less than half as likely to meet the criteria for an abnormal semen analysis.
Marijuana and miscarriage
Finally, we look at a study investigating whether marijuana use by men is associated with an increase in the risk of miscarriage and their partners.
This study looked at only whether men reported marijuana use. They weren't tested. It did however show a two-fold increase in the risk for miscarriage if they reported using marijuana more than once a week.
So based on the data that is available so far from men marijuana use does not seem to have an adverse effect on sperm and it doesn't seem to cause a delay in how long it takes men to produce pregnancies and their partners. Even when there is daily use of marijuana. But it may increase the risk of miscarriage and the partners.
For women if we go by the more accurate testing method for marijuana use there does seem to be a reduction in fertility.
So our bottom line is this:
Data on marijuana use and fertility is a little confusing. But there is at least some evidence to suggest that marijuana use by either men or women may have an adverse impact on fertility or miscarriage.
Our advice is to avoid marijuana use when trying to conceive, at least until better data is available.
Marijuana isn't the only lifestyle option that may affect fertility. You need to improve your overall health to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Natural fertility supplements and treatments is a great method for you to conceive faster.