Fertility is a major issue for couples trying to conceive a child and grow their family unit. The ability to conceive a child is an emotional matter that is close to the heart. According to Boston University Research 15 percent of couples will have difficulties getting pregnant and cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $5 billion a year. This places fertility problems and research fairly high as far as medical priorities are concerned. While IVF and adoption are an option to these couples, such potential solutions cost a lot money and time while offering no guarantee. For most people in this situation, increasing fertility is a superior solution and one that is possible with research and consistency.
Does Marijuana Hurt Your Chances of Conception?
Marijuana and pregnancy don’t usually go hand in hand. Despite the fact that marijuana research has expanded in recent years, we are still very far from having all the facts when it comes to this plant. While research has been done, not all marijuana research is unbiased and effective for establishing solid facts. Many are wise to be cautious about marijuana and pregnancy because the facts have been limited and lack clarity as to whether or not it affects a couple’s ability to conceive. While in the past research has shown marijuana to lower sperms counts, a more recent study has found that the plant makes no impact on a couple’s ability to conceive a child.
Scrutinizing the Connection Between Marijuana and Pregnancy
Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health have been examining the connection between marijuana and pregnancy in order to determine how it affects a couple’s ability to conceive. “Given the increasing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana across the nation, we thought it was an opportune time to investigate the association between marijuana use and fertility,” lead author Lauren Wise, professor of epidemiology, stated in a press release.
The Survey-Based Study
4,194 women, aged 21 to 45, were surveyed by researchers. The women were in stable relationships, not using contraception or participating in any kind of fertility treatments. Their partners were invited to participate as well and 1125 accepted this invitation. They were then surveyed once every eight weeks for a year. 12 percent of the women and 14 percent of the men admitted to marijuana use. Researchers found no difference between these participants ability to conceive than those who reported not using the plant. Researchers concluded that couples who used the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes were just as likely to conceive a child as any other couple. “Future studies with day-specific data on marijuana use might better be able to distinguish acute from chronic effects of marijuana use and evaluate whether effects depend on other factors,” the researchers stated in the press release.
These results are quite different than those attained in other studies. A 2015 study from Denmark found that regular marijuana use by men between 18 and 28 lowered their sperm count by 29 percent. Some urologists even state that the sperm in heavy users spin in circles rather than being driven towards fertilizing an egg. If the marijuana user also engaged in using recreational drugs, their sperm count was found to drop down 55 percent. These figures have not been encouraging for those looking to conceive a child. However, it seems that heavy use may be more the issue in regards to marijuana and pregnancy.
Impact on Sexual Frequency
Another factor of importance when it comes to marijuana and pregnancy is its effect on the libido. Marijuana is known to increase sexual pleasure; for women in particular. Many studies have revealed that marijuana increases receptivity to sexual intercourse and increases physical sensitivity, enhancing orgasm. Sexual frequency is important for those couples trying to conceive. Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine underwent a study focusing on sexual reactions to cannabis and published their results in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. They evaluated the response of the 50,000 Americans who participated in the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth between 2002 and 2015, allowing them to use this broad range of data to evaluate marijuana’s effect on the libido and sexual frequency. Participants were between 25 and 45, with an average age of 29.5.
Assistant professor of urology Michael Eisenberg, MD, the senior author, stated that “What we found, was compared to never-users, those who reported daily use had about 20 percent more sex. So over the course of a year, they’re having sex maybe 20 more times.” Women who used marijuana had sex an average of 7.1 times a month, while non users had sex 6 times a month. For men the results were very similar. Those who used marijuana had sex 6.9 times a month while those who didn’t had sex an average of 5.6 times a month. According to Eisenberg, these results were relevant to every kind of person across the range, including “people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids.”
Overall Results of the Data
So while sperm count could present itself as an issue (in particular in heavy users), it would appear that it isn’t affecting the percentage of users who conceive versus non-users who get pregnant. While further study is certainly required, the results lean toward illustrating that marijuana users are just as likely to conceive as non-users. This may have some relationship to higher libido and the increased sexual frequency that users enjoy. Perhaps it relates to healthier organ function due to reduced stress levels attained through marijuana use. More study is needed to be sure. Nonetheless, the Boston study points to there being more to the subject of marijuana and pregnancy, than previously thought.
With all of these facts about marijuana and pregnancy at hand, couples are better armed to move forward with a successful conception. With all the information presented, it would seem that moderation is the best solution as is often the case with so many things in life. This Boston University study offers relief for those who use the plant medicinally and those who enjoy it recreationally. You can still enjoy the benefits of the plant and stand a healthy chance of conceiving a child.