FEB 24, 2021 8:20 AM PST

Cannabis May Lower Chances of Pregnancy

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers have found that cannabis use is linked to a reduced chance of getting pregnant among women with a history of pregnancy loss, despite increase frequency of intercourse. 

For the study, the researchers examined data from 1228 women taken between 2006 and 2011 from a trial investigating the effects of aspirin in pregnant women. Each was aged between 18 and 40 and had a history of pregnancy loss. Cannabis use was established both from survey questions and measuring urine metabolites. All in all, 5% of the women involved in the study, or 62, were recorded to have used cannabis before conception. 

From the data, the researchers were also able to examine HCG-detected pregnancy (an indicator of pregnancy seen as early as eight days following conception), the incidence of live birth, and pregnancy loss. As users of cannabis were also more likely to use other substances, including alcohol, opioids, and anti-depressants, the researchers accounted for their use in their results. 

Ultimately, the researchers found that while 66% of women who didn’t consume cannabis before conception became pregnant over the study period, just 41% of those who used cannabis did. While interesting results, the study is not without limitations. Its small sample size and lack of account for male partner use of cannabis mean that any conclusions would be premature. 

Nevertheless, despite the limitations, the researchers say that cannabis likely can reduce one’s chances of becoming pregnant among those with a history of pregnancy loss. While further research is needed to confirm the mechanisms that may lead to this reduced fertility, the researchers highlighted that cannabis use was linked to lower levels of Luteinizing hormone (LH) in participants’ urinary samples. This, they say, could in turn affect key aspects of fertility, including ovulation, uterine receptivity, and implantation. 

 

Sources: Analytical CannabisOxford Academic 

About the Author
  • Science writer with a keen interest in behavioral biology, consciousness medicine and technology. Her current focus is how the interplay of these fields can create meaningful interactions, products and environments.
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