JAN 14, 2021 11:00 PM PST

Cannabis Use May Affect Pregnancy Chances

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

Some people find that marijuana can give their sex life a boost. But if you’re planning to make a baby, using cannabis may not be such a great idea, for women at least.

In a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, female users of marijuana had lower conception rates compared with non-users. The researchers, led by Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., of the Epidemiology Branch in NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development analysed data from a broader study of more than 1,200 women aged 18 to 40 who had already had one or two miscarriages and were now trying for a baby again.

The results, which are reported in in Human Reproduction found that for women who said they used cannabis products in the weeks before pregnancy, or who tested positive for cannabis use in a urine test, were around 40 percent less likely to conceive per monthly cycle than women who did not use cannabis. 

Differences in hormone levels was also noted: marijuana users had higher levels of luteinizing hormone and a higher proportion of luteinizing hormone to follicle stimulating hormone, which may affect likelihood or conception.

In the study a total of 62 women (around one in 20) either had a positive urine test or responded that they had used cannabis before conception.

The authors noted that this small number of cannabis users means the results should be treated with caution, however. Also, the cannabis use of the male partners in this study was not noted, but might also have impacted on the results.

On the plus side, even if marijuana does affect conception it does not appear to affect miscarriage rate — in those who became pregnant there was no difference in the proportion who lost the child

Animal studies have found that cannabis use could alter the lining of the uterus, making it less likely for an embryo to implant and establish a pregnancy. Until more information is available, the authors suggest women trying for a baby should be aware that cannabis could potentially affect their pregnancy chances.

 

Sources: MJ News Network, Human Reproduction

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
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