Does Marijuana Affect Your Fertility and Pregnancy?

Does Marijuana Affect Your Fertility and Pregnancy?

The information provided by our expert should not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. Always consult a medical practitioner or healthcare provider for a formal diagnosis. By making use of this content, you agree that ConceiveEasy and the expert assume no liability.

The information provided by our expert should not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. Always consult a medical practitioner or healthcare provider for a formal diagnosis. By making use of this content, you agree that ConceiveEasy and the expert assume no liability.

If there is one thing that is relevant in the news right now, it’s marijuana. Whether it be medical marijuana, CBD oil, legalization, or recreational use, chances are, if you have your TV or computer on for more than 15 minutes or so, you will definitely hear something about it! It’s the talk of the country, if you will, and everyone seems like they have something to say. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

          Especially out on the West Coast, news outlets all over are saying California has gone to pot.

It can all be a little overwhelming, but what we really want to know is what kind of a role marijuana plays in fertility, pregnancy test results, and what all the new marijuana legalization laws mean for fertility and trying to conceive. There is so much going on with this subject, it can be a lot to take in and a lot to process. It is perfectly normal to be concerned about the different aspects of this subject.

Read on to find out more.

Positive Effects of Marijuana?

In the past few years, we have started to see so much more about marijuana than ever before. As of now, eight US states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, and more states are following close behind.

It’s kind of crazy how much this marijuana legalization effort has taken off, and it’s clear to see that more and more people are accepting of both recreational and medical marijuana use.

Many people, including experts, believe that marijuana can assist with many medical issues, mental health issues, or overall improvement of well being. However, what we really want to know is how marijuana can help with fertility, or if it can help at all.

          Is marijuana more helpful or more hurtful when it comes to fertility?

If you already use marijuana, do you need to stop before trying to conceive, or can you keep on doing what you have been doing? If you don’t use marijuana, could using it actually help you conceive more easily? Read on to find out more.

Marijuana and Male Fertility

There have actually been several studies that show that marijuana can actually be damaging to sperm. In particular, men who use marijuana were much more likely to have sperm that were irregularly shaped.

          This particular study actually showed that men who smoked pot were twice as likely to have irregular sperm than men who did not smoke pot.

The study also showed that marijuana users actually had much slower swimming sperm as well.

This is a pretty huge deal, since a study like this has not really been done in the past. Most people who are advocates of medical marijuana believe that the drug actually has no negative effects and that it actually improves all aspects of health.

However, this study is one of the first things we have seen of this nature that proves that this is not actually true, and that male fertility can be impacted by the use of marijuana (really, as it is by alcohol).

In fact, studies do show that almost every single aspect of sperm health is affected by marijuana use, so that is definitely something for men to keep in mind if they choose to partake when they are trying to conceive.

Marijuana and Female Fertility

Similar to the way marijuana affects male fertility, it can also have an effect on female fertility as well. In women, it’s likely that the THC from weed can actually mess with the body’s hormonal system and can make it less likely for a woman to ovulate.

As we all know very well, a woman who isn’t ovulating properly will have a very hard time getting pregnant, since there are only a few short days during the month when a woman can get pregnant. Between the issues that marijuana can cause in male fertility and in female fertility, it really is not recommended for women who are trying to conceive. It can just make things so much more difficult than it has to be, and when you are trying to conceive, that is just something that you don’t need.

Just because it may be recreationally legal doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful to fertility – see alchohol, smoking and caffeine.

          All perfectly legal, and all perfectly harmful to fertility.

Marijuana Use While Pregnant

Using marijuana while pregnant can also be a bad idea. Studies have been done for years that show that not only does marijuana use while pregnant increase the chances of premature birth, but it can also be associated with low birth weights in babies as well. Both of these things can cause huge problems for both mom and baby, so it’s important to do anything in our power to prevent those things from happening for the health of everyone involved.

Experts say that babies who are exposed to higher carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream while in the womb are more likely to have growth problems as well, because they are not getting enough oxygen. Obviously, this can be a huge problem, and can cause issues that last way beyond the womb.

          It seems like the negative effects of marijuana use during pregnancy go far beyond the womb.

Doctors actually believe that babies who are exposed to marijuana use while they are in utero can have lots of problems later in life.

For example, toddlers whose mothers used marijuana while they were pregnant suffer from sleeping problems later in life. These kiddos can also have depression issues, attention deficit problems, and may even perform worse in school situations.

It’s easy to see that marijuana use while trying to conceive and while pregnant can cause loads of different problems. It’s important to get this information out there, since there are so many people out there that believe that marijuana is good for every situation, and it does no wrong.

Is marijuana safe during pregnancy?

Can Marijuana Use Affect Pregnancy Test Results?

What about if you have not gotten pregnant yet, but think that you might be? Does marijuana use have an effect on pregnancy test results?

          The good news is that, no, it does not appear that marijuana has any sort of effect on pregnancy test results.

This is good news when it comes to interpreting the test results, because women can easily see that they are pregnant or not, and they will not have to worry about whether they might be getting a false positive result or a false negative result.

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However, it is important to remember that while pregnancy test results might not be affected by marijuana use, fertility as a whole, and possibly a baby’s health can be affected from using the drug.

The Most Popular Drug In The World

Marijuana is by far the most popular recreationally used drug in the world today, and although steps are being taken every day to decriminalize its use, it’s still not 100% safe. Advocates of the drug sometimes argue that since marijuana is a natural, plant derived product, that there are no side effects and that it is completely safe for all users.

However, this is not the case when it comes to pregnant women and unborn babies. They have to adhere to a different set of standards, can’t simply go off of the fact that something is considered safe by most people. Alcohol is considered safe, but all women know not to imbibe while pregnant (or even trying to conceive).

More research will need to be done on this topic, especially as pot becomes more and more accepted in the United States, and more people begin to smoke it for recreation or medical use.

If You Are Trying to Conceive

The good news is, if you currently smoke pot and you are wanting to get pregnant, the negative effects of marijuana on the body do not seem to last forever. Studies show that within six months of stopping use, sperm counts and sperm motility had returned to almost completely normal in most patients.

Marijuana and male fertility

For women, ovulation issues that were caused by marijuana use also rebounded quite nicely after stopping the drug. As you can see, it is a very good idea to take a break from smoking if you are trying to conceive, or you are thinking about getting pregnant in the near future.

          The longer that you are away from stuff like marijuana, smoking and alcohol, the better off you will be when you are trying to conceive.

So, if this is something that applies to you, definitely make sure to take a break when you decide that it’s time to try to get pregnant.

An Interesting Twist

While all of the research that we have seen points to the fact that marijuana use makes it harder to conceive, there is actually some very interesting evidence that concludes that “long term” marijuana use actually has less of a damning effect on fertility than casual, part time use.

Some studies, especially those done in Jamaica, where long term cannabis use is very common, show that when marijuana is used long term in regular doses, the problems seen from short term use, such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility, and ovulation issues, actually do not occur. This indicates that there is at least a possibility that long term marijuana use is safer and better for people who are trying to conceive than just casually using every now and then.

          Isn’t that a crazy thought? A bit of an oxymoron, but it’s true!

These studies also indicated that the women who used marijuana long term and regularly had no problems in their pregnancies, had no differences seen in their babies and babies born to mothers who did not use marijuana.

One particular study even followed the babies through childhood and found no cognitive delays, learning difficulties or even behavior problems that were any different than the ones that were found in the children of non-using mothers. This actually indicates that longer term use of marijuana is safer and doesn’t cause as many problems as short term use.

Of course, much more research is needed to be done on this subject before any real conclusions can be made. This is an aspect of marijuana use and fertility/ raising children that has really never been focused on or studied before, and we will definitely need to see where this line of research goes.

The Bottom Line

The real point we are trying to make is although marijuana is becoming much more mainstream and widely accepted in today’s society, that doesn’t mean it’s completely fine and safe for everyone to use.

          Couples who are trying to conceive really need to be careful of everything they put into their bodies, whether it is marijuana, cigarettes, alcohol or even fast food or soda.

what to avoid when trying to conceive

What men and women who are trying to conceive put in their bodies really does have an effect on their fertility and can have an effect on the unborn baby if they do happen to get pregnant. Being careful and being vigilant about these things can really help women to ensure their health and also the health and safety of their baby to be as well. It’s so important to be responsible when you are trying to conceive in order to keep everyone involved healthy.

Avoiding marijuana and other drugs, as well as unhealthy life choices in general, is just an overall good idea when trying to conceive. Although there is not much research out there when it comes to marijuana use and pregnancy or trying to conceive, that is just a sign that we need to be even more careful with what we are doing when we are trying to conceive.

It is definitely a good idea to talk with your doctor if you are thinking about trying to conceive and you currently use marijuana or any other drugs. Your doctor can give you real advice and real tips that can help you, and your doctor can also be really helpful to make sure that nothing that is going on will be harmful to either a woman or her unborn child.

It’s becoming very widely acceptable to use marijuana, whether medicinally or for recreational use. While this is true, it’s not always a good idea to use it while trying to conceive. Just definitely make sure that you are making the right choice for your life and your particular situation.

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Dr. Renee Hanton, MD
Dr. Renee Hanton, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).