How Marijuana Affects Fertility – FACT or CRAP Part 11

Is the following statement FACT or CRAP?

11. Your fertility rates can drop if you use marijuana.

Answer: FACT

Marijuana can reduce fertility due to decreased sperm counts and delayed ovulation. Association Between Use of Marijuana and Male Reproductive Hormones and Semen Quality

If you’re trying to get pregnant now or in the future and you smoke marijuana, you may have a more difficult time.

Numerous scientific studies, conducted with tight experimental controls, have demonstrated that both men and women who use marijuana can often have decreased fertility. This is most easily observed in men. For example, a sample of 1,125 healthy young Danish men 18-28 years old were examined when they entered military service between 2008 and 2012. Of the 45% who had smoked pot in the previous three months, those who smoked more than once a week had a 28% average lower sperm concentration and 29% lower sperm count than non-smokers.

Recent primate studies have shown a link between THC and reduced testosterone levels and testicular shrinkage. When a man’s testosterone level is lower than his level of estrogen, breast tissue can begin to grow. Abnormal breast development in males who use pot is referred to as “doobie boobies” as a slang term. Pot is one of the most common causes of enlarged male breasts among 18-to-35-year-olds. According to one plastic surgeon, since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012, male breast reduction procedures in his office have increased by 8 percent.

As another plastic surgeon explains it, “One of these functions [of THC] is the release of GnRH, which is a hormone that’s responsible for the release of other hormones. The release of GnRH is the catalyst of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal, or HPG, axis. In men, the HPG axis is responsible for testosterone production. Because marijuana blocks the release of GnRH, it hinders every aspect of the HPG axis, including the manufacture of testosterone. If a man’s body produces less testosterone, his male and female hormone levels become imbalanced. This can lead to the development of breasts.”

According to another study, marijuana use by females can delay ovulation by 3.5 days or inhibit it altogether for any woman who has smoked at all in the previous three months. These studies make it clear than marijuana can, in some cases, damage fertility. So, for couples already dealing with fertility issues, marijuana use can reduce their changes of pregnancy—whether either the man or the woman, or both, is a user. And if you’re a single person, using marijuana can impact your fertility in the future.

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