According to a number of separate research studies on the subject, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Many fertility studies have been conducted to test the effects of a number of different drugs on pregnancy. Both alcohol and tobacco, for example, have been proven to negatively impact fertility, as have several prescription medications. The effects of marijuana however, at least until recently, remained a question mark.
One such study seemed to answer those questions and proved conclusively that marijuana does in fact play a role in infertility, but some of the results may surprise you. It seems that regardless of who smokes the marijuana—the man, woman or both—the drug has an impact on male sperm which can make it extremely difficult for that sperm to complete the fertilization process.
How Marijuana Affects Sperm and Fertility
[showmyads]The human process of fertilization is a delicate one, requiring precise timing. In fact, the process is so delicate that even with a million plus sperm in the male human body, even those trying to become pregnant sometimes have a very difficult time. Add marijuana into the mix and the chances of this happening are reduced significantly.
After sex, there are literally millions and millions of sperm that begin to make their way towards the fallopian tubes, but these sperm can only swim for so long before they tire out. Few, in fact, will actually approach the woman’s egg, and those that do get close to it will receive a signal to swim faster—known as hyperactivation—so they will be moving quickly enough to penetrate the lining of the egg. This process of hyperactivation is what marijuana seems to directly affect, and negatively impact.
In a study conducted at the University of Buffalo, the sperm of several men who were currently using marijuana were closely examined.
The study showed that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, caused the sperm to begin the hyperactivation process early—way too early—causing the sperm to “burn out” quickly, and thus were unable to “complete the journey” required in the fertilization process. In short, while you were partying, it appears your sperm were partying too.
Now, with fewer sperm available to make the journey up the fallopian tubes and to the egg, the delicate process which is necessary to cause pregnancy, becomes even more fragile.
Even more surprisingly, the study showed that it didn’t matter who smoked the marijuana.
[showmyads]If the woman was the primary user of the drug, the THC would be present in her vaginal fluids and would affect the sperm in the very same way once it entered her body.
Of course there are men who impregnate women when marijuana is in the picture, just as there are pregnancies which occur in the presence of many different drugs, but this study confirms that the chances of that happening are significantly reduced with marijuana usage.
Marijuana is a powerful drug and it seems that with each new study researchers are discovering more and more reasons why you should just leave it alone. If you’re planning to start a family, and you want to give yourself and your partner the very best chance of success, it would be wise to refrain from all drugs, including marijuana.