The impact of cannabis on reproductive health is a concern for OB-GYNs and women trying to conceive. Several studies have shown that regular marijuana users have decreased ovulation and reduced pregnancy rates compared with those who don’t smoke.
However, there are also some studies that have linked cannabis use to an increased risk of early pregnancy loss after in vitro fertilization (IVF). These findings are mixed and indicate a need for more research on this topic.
Cannabis can impact your fertility and reproductive health, affecting your sperm count, ovulation, and menstrual cycle. It can also reduce the quality of your sperm and change their shape, which can make it harder for them to reach your egg.
THC binds to receptors in the brain and in your sperm cells. This can disrupt the endocannabinoid system, which regulates your hormones and other functions of your body. It can also disrupt the balance of your sex hormones and your luteinizing hormone (LH), which are produced by the pituitary gland.
Researchers have found that smoked marijuana can lower your sperm count by up to 30 percent, as well as change the size and shape of your sperm. This is because THC interferes with a process called capacitation, which allows your sperm to swim well and at the right speed to reach and fertilize your egg.
It can also increase the chance that you’ll have an anovulatory cycle, where your ovaries aren’t producing eggs at all. And it can also increase the risk of miscarriage.
Several studies have linked marijuana use to a decrease in the length of your follicular phase, which is the time when ovulation happens. It’s a big deal when you want to conceive, since ovulation is key for conception.
In addition, a 2015 study found that occasional use of marijuana was associated with delayed ovulation in women. And regular use was associated with more anovulatory cycles in a six-month period than those who didn’t regularly smoke cannabis.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s best to avoid marijuana altogether. But if you already have a partner who smokes, try to discourage him from using it while you’re trying to conceive.
Research is ongoing and there’s still much to learn about the effects of cannabis on fertility, so it’s important to seek guidance from your health care provider. However, it’s worth knowing that THC does cross the placenta and can impact the fetus, which is why it’s especially important to abstain when you’re trying to conceive.
The menstrual cycle is the body’s recurring process of preparing the ovaries for the production and release of an egg. Once a month, the ovaries will produce an egg and the uterus will thicken its lining in preparation for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized, then the uterus will shed the endometrium and the woman will have menstrual bleeding, also known as a period.
Women go through a series of cycles during their lives, beginning when they are teens and ending when they reach menopause. For the most part, these cycles are regular and predictable. They may vary in length, but they usually last from 21 days to 35 days.
As you get older, your cycle may become shorter and more regular. It’s normal to experience a few days of light bleeding or none at all during your lifetime, depending on your individual body.
Cannabis use can cause estrogen levels to fluctuate, which is why many women are sensitive to it during their periods. However, it can be less problematic if you’re on hormonal birth control like the pill or an IUD.
Fortunately, there are some substances that have been found to mimic estrogen and can therefore be helpful for those who struggle with mood changes during their periods. One of these is CBD. It can mimic estrogen by blocking an enzyme called Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase, which breaks down anandamide, an endocannabinoid that’s been linked to increased happiness and reduced stress.
It’s important to note, however, that the exact effects of cannabis can be individualized for each person, and this is why there are so many different reports about its impact on reproductive health. For instance, THC can make anxiety symptoms worse, so it’s best to consult your doctor before using cannabis if you have any concerns.
The effects of THC and other cannabinoids on your menstrual cycle are likely to vary based on a number of factors, including age, body weight, how much marijuana you’re smoking, and whether you’re on hormonal birth control. Additionally, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to avoid marijuana during your menstrual cycle, as ovulation can be blocked or delayed by THC.
Testicular atrophy is a condition where the testicles shrink and become smaller than normal. It can occur in men of all ages, even those who haven’t gone through puberty. The scrotum helps regulate the body’s temperature by contracting and relaxing against changes in temperature.
There are many causes of testicular atrophy, but the most common is hormonal imbalances, which can result from a variety of factors, including drug side effects, radiation exposure and chronic steroid use. It can also be caused by infection, especially sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).
Treatment for testicular atrophy depends on the cause, but usually a course of antibiotics will help alleviate symptoms. In some cases, surgery can be necessary to treat the underlying cause.
Another potential cause of testicular atrophy is testicular torsion, which happens when a testicle twists and turns, reducing blood flow. This condition can lead to permanent atrophy if it isn’t treated right away.
In addition, testosterone replacement therapy can also lead to testicular atrophy, since it can stop luteinizing hormone production. If testosterone replacement is the cause, your doctor may need to change the dosage or add a different type of steroid to treat it.
Symptoms of testicular atrophy include pain, swelling and a decreased size of the testicles. Other symptoms can be a decrease in fertility or erectile dysfunction.
The condition can be difficult to diagnose, but there are tests that can help your doctor determine the cause of the atrophy and decide on the best course of action. A physical exam, blood work and a urine sample or swab can all be used to determine the underlying problem.
A video visit using telehealth services like Giddy can be a convenient way to consult with a doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor can perform a physical exam, check your testosterone levels and conduct an ultrasound scan to check for any other problems.
The impact of cannabis on testicular atrophy and reproductive health is an ongoing topic, but researchers have found that some people experience reduced sperm count with the use of cannabis. More research is needed to better understand this relationship and develop a more accurate picture of how cannabis affects fertility.
Cannabis is a highly addictive and potentially harmful drug, so it’s no wonder that women of reproductive age are concerned about its impact on their health and their ability to become pregnant. The good news is that the impact of marijuana on pregnancy isn’t as great as it is with other drugs, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
While there is no definitive evidence that cannabis use will harm a developing baby, it should be avoided during pregnancy. ACOG recommends that all pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, including marijuana.
Some studies have found that cannabis may interfere with the menstrual cycle and ovulation. In some cases, it can even prevent ovulation altogether.
For example, a 2014 study by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that a high marijuana dose can prevent ovulation in women with PCOS and other hormone-related disorders. This effect could increase the chance of a missed period and cause other fertility issues.
In addition to affecting ovulation, marijuana may also affect sperm motility and sperm quality, leading to lower sperm counts and a reduction in the number of viable sperm. This could lead to infertility or reduced success with ovulation-insemination (OI).
Despite the potential effects of marijuana on female fertility, large-scale cohort studies haven’t been able to find a link between cannabis and fecundability. In the Pregnancy Study Online, which followed 1125 couples prospectively from 2013 to 2017, rates for women using cannabis and non-cannabis users were not significantly different.
Another study published in 2018 surveyed 1,000+ women who were trying to conceive from the National Survey of Family Growth to document their time to pregnancy. Rates for marijuana users and non-users were not significantly different, but cannabis use did affect the length of time that couples tried to conceive.
A few studies have shown that cannabis use is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm birth. However, these findings are often influenced by confounders and the inherent limitations of observational studies. Moreover, the underlying causes of these problems may be more difficult to pinpoint than previously thought, as cannabis and other substances can be used for different reasons in different cultures.