Good news: If you’re trying to get pregnant, there’s no need to lay off cannabis before conception. At least, not according to this preliminary research.
A new study by Boston University School of Public Health that examined the relationship between marijuana use and fertility has found that cannabis does not lower the chance of conception for either men or women.
Researchers were drawn to the issue because roughly 15 per cent of couples have trouble with making babies. Meanwhile, fertility treatments cost the American healthcare system over $5 billion dollars per year, so scientists wanted to know if they could help reduce that expense by determining if recreational drug use was responsible for the infertility problem.
The research studied fecundability — a fancy word for how likely you are to conceive per menstrual cycle — by surveying roughly 4,000 women aged 21 to 45 who were in stable relationships and were neither using contraception nor any kind of fertility treatment. Just over 1,000 of their male partners also agreed to take part in the study.
Researchers noted that 12 percent of the women and 14 percent of men used cannabis over the four-year study (2013-2017). After following up with the couples 12 times over the course of the study, researchers found that the possibility of getting pregnant was similar for the couples who used cannabis and the couples who did not.
However, they stressed that the study is very preliminary: it doesn’t examine the influence of one-time cannabis use vs. chronic consumption, and it relied on self-reported data. But the researchers say there is a lot of opportunity for future studies, so we will likely learn more about marijuana and fertility in the near future.