A study published in the medical journal Human Reproduction claims that marijuana use can impact a man’s fertility by having adverse effects on sperm.
The study examined data from 2,249 men from fertility clinics across the United Kingdom who provided semen samples as well as information about their lifestyle, habits, and medical history.
Upon review of the data and samples, it was found that the males with abnormal sperm were actually men who had smoked marijuana within a three month period prior to providing a semen sample.
The males who smoked marijuana were found to have sperm with irregular size and shape. Irregular sperm morphology can lead men to have difficulty having children, because studies have shown that only normally sized sperm can reach the woman’s egg.
“Our knowledge of factors that influence sperm size and shape is very limited, yet faced with a diagnosis of poor sperm morphology, many men are concerned to try and identify any factors in their lifestyle that could be causing this. It is therefore reassuring to find that there are very few identifiable risks, although our data suggests that cannabis users might be advised to stop using the drug if they are planning to try and start a family,” said lead author Dr. Allan Pacey.
Other lifestyle aspects that were considered by researchers were alcohol use, tobacco use, and wearing tight underwear. None of these factors were found to negatively impact male fertility.