Obviously, if you are both smoking marijuana, you risk increasing the chances of infertility as a couple.
Research suggests that marijuana can negatively affect female fertility in the following ways:
Furthermore, the effects of marijuana on fertility seem to accumulate over time. This means that although teenage girls who smoke marijuana are more likely to get pregnant, by the time a chronic marijuana smoking woman is in her mid-twenties, she may be more likely to experience a delay in getting pregnant.
Despite the relaxation effects that many people associate with marijuana use, research has shown marijuana has negative effects on the male sexual response.
Although the link between marijuana and fertility is not straightforward—plenty of marijuana smokers get pregnant and get their partners pregnant—some research has demonstrated that marijuana use can negatively impact you, your partner, or the fertility of both of you.
Quitting marijuana can be harder than many long-term marijuana users expect, so you and your partner would be wise to quit as soon as possible, while you still have time to get help before getting pregnant. If either or both parents still use marijuana when the baby arrives, you are increasing the risk that your child may use drugs in the future, and parental drug use is implicated in many difficulties for children and families.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Fact: Alcohol can increase the risk of birth defects once a woman becomes pregnant and can cause a collection of birth defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). There is no known “safe” amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy, so it is generally recommended that women avoid alcohol in pregnancy.
Fact: Relaxation alone won’t help anyone become a parent. One or both partners may have a correctable medical condition that stands in the way of conception. If there’s no obvious physical explanation for infertility, a doctor can still suggest lifestyle changes that could boost the odds of conception.
Infertility Myth #3: Many infertile couples are trying too hard. If they would just relax, they would conceive right away.
Fact: Infertility means that you have been unable to have a child naturally after a year of trying (or 6 months if you are over the age of 35). With the proper treatment, the majority of people go on to have children.
Fact: In conception, timing is everything. Women are the most fertile in the middle of their menstrual cycle. Experts recommend intercourse every other day in this period to increase the likelihood of natural conception.
Fact: Smoking marijuana, even infrequently, can dramatically affect sperm and egg quality, which can have a dramatic impact on fertility.
As recent research shows, men in Western countries are facing a fertility crisis. Sperm count in males of reproductive age more than halved between 1973 and 2011.
According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, approximately 9 percent of men in the United States have faced infertility.
In looking at the semen samples, the researchers noticed that men who had used marijuana had higher average sperm concentrations than nonsmokers.
Even though they were unexpected, the authors suggest that their findings do make logical sense in the context of marijuana’s effect on the human endocannabinoid system, which responds to the active compounds present in this substance.
The investigators also observed that among marijuana smokers, only 5 percent had sperm concentrations below 15 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate — the threshold for “normal” sperm concentration levels — while 12 percent of never-smokers had sperm concentrations below this level.