Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug in the United States. With the legalization of cannabis in many states, its use has become more commonplace in recent years. While the data on the impact of cannabis use on fertility is limited, some studies have shown a negative impact on sperm count, motility, and ability to fertilize an egg in men that are chronic cannabis users.
In women that are cannabis users, there are reports of menstrual cycle irregularities, fewer eggs obtained during IVF egg retrieval, and increased risk of premature birth has been observed. In a recent study published in JAMA Network open, they found that the risk of adverse outcomes in babies was significantly higher in women who had marijuana use during pregnancy as opposed to those that did not. There are also concerns regarding neurodevelopment effects on the fetus. This study is a meta-analysis compiling data from 16 other studies, to include a total of 59,138 patients. It shows clear evidence of adverse impact on the neonate with maternal marijuana use. The study was unable to determine a dose-response association.
Given the many unknowns and possible adverse outcomes of cannabis use both pre-conceptually and during pregnancy, it is advisable for couples desiring conception to avoid all cannabis use in order to optimize their fertility and safeguard the health of the fetus.
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