With more and more states legalizing or decriminalizing the use of recreational marijuana, there is bound to be a certain level of excitement around the activity. What was once something illicit and taboo is now as normal as happy hour with far fewer calories depending on how you get your THC. If you're trying to conceive, you may wonder if there are any ill-effects caused by sharing a bowl (or bowl of edibles with your friends). Can you get pregnant if you smoke weed, or does it impact more than just your appetite?
Although marijuana's legalization is a recent phenomenon, the use of marijuana is not. In fact, it's one of the oldest continually cultivated crops in the world, used not only for its psychotropic properties, but also its use in everyday materials like clothing and paper goods, according to Smoke: A Global History of Smoking. There have been many studies concluding that the use of marijuana not only has adverse effects on male infertility via lowered sperm count and quality, but that smoking weed also negatively impacts female fertility through both egg quality and a woman's cycle, explained Fertility and Sterility. Their research found that fertility can be dramatically affected even with little exposure.
In men, it's a pretty straightforward reason. Smoking pot impacts a man's body's ability to produce testosterone in the amount it needs to manufacture viable levels of quality sperm. It also inhibits motility and affects their functionality, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Imagine how you feel after you've had a few edibles or a joint. You're relaxed and zen AF, but you're going nowhere quickly, and if you had to do something which required a concentrated effort of minor motor manipulations, you'd fail — hard. That's exactly what it's doing to the sperm. It's slowing them down and dulling their ability to get where they need to go and do what they're supposed to do.
I'm a writer, so it stands to reason that a great many of my friends in the creative fields smoke a considerable amount of pot, and they do. It's as common now as cigarettes were when I was in high school and it's just no big deal. However, we're all millennials entering or in our 30s, and our biological clocks are often tolling louder than Big Ben. You can't go out for drinks or to someone's house without hearing about baby lubricant, positions, and which ovulation test is easiest to pee on. I'm almost ashamed to say that not one of us has ever stopped to think, "Can you get pregnant if you smoke weed?"
However, the evidence is there. According to Nature Medicine, if you want to get pregnant, you need to take your last dance with Mary Jane long before you try to conceive. It alters the female reproductive tract, compromising the quality of the eggs and general process of ovulation. It also negatively impacts the implantation process because there are THC-like compounds present in the process of implantation. Introducing the THC found in marijuana to your body at any point in this process can disrupt it, and possibly prevent implantation from occurring.
There will always be anecdotal stories shared about how Lauren and Brad got pregnant after a three-day trip to Taos wherein they did nothing but have very slow sex and smoke tons of weed. Some people have very determined reproductive organs. I know I am not one of them, and many others are in the same boat. So maybe put down the vape for a while, at least while you're TTC.
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