If you're a medical marijuana patient who's planning to start a family, there are some things you should be aware of when it comes to how marijuana affects sperm count. The findings of a study published in the journal of Human Reproduction suggested marijuana use altered the size and shape of sperm. In the study, researchers from the University of Sheffield in England examined tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle factors to analyze their effects on sperm morphology. It appeared marijuana was the only factor that affected morphology.
The study involved 2,000 male participants at 14 fertility clinics in England who filled out questionnaires about their lifestyle and medical history. Each man's sperm samples were also examined and then compared to the World Health Organization guidelines for morphology. Researchers found 1,652 participants had normal sperm (considered semen containing 4% of sperm exhibiting normal morphology), while 318 participants had abnormal semen (or less than 4% normal morphology). Researchers discovered participants were more likely to exhibit misshapen sperm if they used marijuana within the past three months. Lead researcher Dr. Alan Pacey believes marijuana may interfere with the DNA folding process that determines the shape of the sperm's head. More research on this subject is desired, but abstaining from marijuana when trying to conceive may be helpful.
This information has been provided by Marijuana Health Wellness and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.