Effect of cannabis on male fertility

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Pot smokers may not consider fertility when they think about the effects of cannabis, yet, for young men, marijuana has a real impact on the efficiency of sperm. The world’s largest study to investigate how common lifestyle has turned up all kinds of interesting facts about sperm like sperm size and shape is worse in the summer months and sperm quality is better in men who had abstained from sexual activity for more than six days. Smoking and drinking have little effect.

Fertility reduced in summer and for pot smokers

Some of the poorest samples of sperm – less than 4% normal sperm - came from men who produced the ejaculate samples during summer months or were younger than 30 and used cannabis in the prior three month period. “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,” noted Dr. Allan Pacey, Senior Lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield.

Still, not a lot a man can do to improve his fertility

“This research builds on our study of two years ago which looked at the risk factors associated with the number of swimming sperm (motile concentration) in men’s ejaculates. This previous study also found that there were relatively few risk factors that men could change in order to improve their fertility. We therefore have to conclude again that there is little evidence that delaying fertility treatment to make adjustments to a man’s lifestyle will improve their chances of conception,” explained Dr. Andrew Povey, from the University of Manchester’s Institute of Population Health.

The authors are quick to note that the research did not consider quality of DNA, only morphology of sperm.

Source: Human Reproduction, MedicalNewsToday


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