Cannabis has been around for a long time, and it is still popular today. Many people enjoy cannabis as a part of their daily life. One in five adults uses cannabis at least once per month. If you are among those that enjoy consuming cannabis regularly, then you should know about the fertility effects of using cannabis products. First off, we need to understand what infertility means before discussing how your consumption of marijuana products may impact it.
What is Infertility?
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after at least one year of active, unprotected sexual intercourse. If you cannot conceive within this time frame, your infertility will be considered moderate to severe, depending on how long it has been since your last menstrual cycle.
How Cannabis Impacts Fertility?
Cannabis products have different effects on male and female fertility. On the male side of things, studies have shown that smoking cannabis can have a negative impact on an adult’s testosterone levels.
Smoking cannabis regularly may lower your sperm count. It can even lower your ability to have an erection if you smoke more than once per week. If your sperm count is low, you may have a harder time conceiving a child naturally. This is usually related to malnutrition and stress, although cannabis consumption is not recommended either. Smoking cannabis can also cause throat irritation, which reduces testosterone production and thickens the mucus in your pharynx. An increase in this mucus can cause a decrease in your sperm count if it blocks the pathways through which sperm moves.
Sperm motility is the movement of sperm. Sperm that are unable to move effectively are less likely to reach the egg and fertilize it. Cannabis smokers have a lower sperm motility rate, and this can lead to problems with fertilization. Cannabis consumption has also been shown to reduce the sex drive in some men who use it on a regular basis. Studies have found that around 20% of cannabis smokers suffer from sexual dysfunction at some point.
It is important to note that while many studies have looked at how cannabis impacts male fertility, very few studies have done the same for women. Most researchers say more research needs to be conducted before we understand how smoking marijuana impacts female fertility.
Here are the main points we do know:
Marijuana does not impact your ability to get pregnant: Marijuana does not affect your ability to become pregnant. However, smoking cannabis may impact your fertility.
Marijuana most likely does not impact ovulation: Some studies show cannabis can alter the hormone levels within a woman’s body, but they are limited at this time. Smoking marijuana most likely does not affect when you ovulate.
Smoking marijuana may lower your estrogen levels: Smoking cannabis is shown to reduce your estrogen levels which is important for women trying to conceive. Studies have shown that pregnant women who smoke weed during their pregnancy have children with low birth weights and small head circumferences, although it is unclear how much of an impact this has on conception rates.
Smoking marijuana can cause early menstruation: If you are having your period earlier than normal, it could be a sign that your estrogen levels are low. Smoking cannabis regularly is linked with lower estrogen levels which may cause you to start menstruating earlier than normal.
Furthermore, while we do not yet fully understand why there is a link between infertility and cannabis consumption, it has been shown that THC can cross the placental barrier. This is problematic as a fetus exposed to cannabis may develop abnormalities due to chemical exposure. In addition, women who use marijuana products frequently throughout their pregnancy are more likely to experience problems during the birthing process, such as premature deliveries or stillbirths.
The effects of weed consumption on female fertility are a bit more complicated. Animal studies in the past have suggested that cannabis consumption might lower estrogen levels in women and thus reduce their chances of becoming pregnant. However, recent studies based on humans refute this claim, suggesting that cannabis products do not alter endocrine function in any way that would affect fertility. It should also be mentioned here that there have never been any recorded cases of infertility linked to the consumption of marijuana products alone; it is only when THC (the psychoactive chemical compound found within cannabis) interacts with other medications or drugs that there is a possibility of infertility. Other medical studies have even shown that THC might potentially help increase a woman’s chances of conceiving by stimulating their endocrine system.
Considering the inconclusive nature of the existing research on this matter, it would be wise to avoid smoking weed if you are currently trying to conceive a child or perhaps even forgo cannabis consumption altogether until more research is done. It should also be noted here that those women who do experience fertility problems due to consuming weed products may be able to reverse this problem simply by stopping their intake and making any necessary lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.