Men who have smoked marijuana may be more fertile than those who have never touched it, suggests a new study published in Human Reproduction magazine. The results are a surprise, but researchers warn that there is more to the story. While research on marijuana and fertility is limited, some earlier documents have suggested that it could harm the quality of semen.
Smoking cigarettes is also known to be a risk factor for female and male infertility. Given those links, the authors of the new study hope to find that men who have smoked marijuana would have worse fertility measures, says co-author Dr. Jorge Chavarro, professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But the data suggest otherwise.
We spent a good two months redoing everything, making sure that there was no error in the data. We were very, very surprised by this, says Chavarro.
The researchers analyzed health surveys and semen samples from more than 650 men (mostly white, mostly with university studies, with an average age of 36 years) who were part of couples seeking treatment at the fertility Center of Massachusetts General Hospital between 2000 and 2017.La most men in the study had normal sperm counts, suggesting that other conception problems brought them and their partners to the hospital, says Chavarro. The polls asked On the use of drugs in the past and in the present of men, among other factors of the lifestyle. Of men, 55% said he had smoked marijuana at some point in their lives, and 11% said he currently smoked marijuana. By comparing survey responses to semen sample analyses, researchers found that marijuana users tended to have higher concentrations and sperm counts, two fertility metrics, than men who had never Used marijuana.
They also had less of an infertility-related hormone at elevated levels. However, researchers found that people who smoked marijuana in the past used to have a slightly higher sperm count than the people who smoked it today. Surprisingly, as the findings are, they do not suggest that men should use a pot for the sake of their sperm, says Chavarro. «This doesn’t mean that marijuana consumption is going to increase your sperm count,» he says. A much more likely explanation, he says, is that men with higher testosterone levels, who tend to have higher counts and sperm concentrations than men with lower testosterone levels, are also more likely to Eat marijuana.