A photograph of a marijuana plant.

Does Marijuana Use Affect Fertility?

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With the recent legalization of marijuana, we thought it timely to address the effect of recreational marijuana on fertility. There have been several studies on how cannabis affects of both male and female fertility. Here are a few highlights:

We know that the use of marijuana lowers sperm count and lowers reproductive potential. There is also evidence to suggest that sperm are slower and burn out more quickly when under the influence of marijuana which may prevent sperm from making the long journey to find and fertilize an egg. In addition to the above, chronic use of marijuana is also linked to erectile dysfunction.

Female Fertility

A woman’s fertility potential may also be negatively affected by using marijuana. Marijuana can reduce the levels of both estrogen and progesterone. The correct balance of these hormones is essential to fertility and pregnancy. Chronic use can result in anovulation. There is also evidence that suggests marijuana may affect an embryo’s ability to implant resulting in no pregnancy, implantation failure or early miscarriage.

With legalization in Canada, we can expect more research to be done on marijuana and fertility (along with other medical conditions). However, at present time there is enough evidence to suggest that cessation is the best course of action when trying to conceive. We already know that smoking and alcohol consumption can negatively affect fertility and the health of the baby. Cannabis is no different.

If you’re trying to conceive, now is not the time to take advantage of the newly minted right to consume marijuana and marijuana products.