With the landmark legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, a nation is beginning to question a long stigmatized drug. Although there are well-spoken proponents and opponents arguing both sides of the issue, there are scientifically proven effects on the body, from using pot — just like any other drug. One of these side effects is:
The negative effect on your sperm!
A study conducted by New York’s University of Buffalo School of Medicine’s Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, sheds light on how cannabis affects the sperm in men. The research studied 81 fertile men, comparing the ‘swimming behavior’ of the sperm, between the men who were frequent marijuana users. ‘Frequent users’ were defined as men who had used cannabis on average 15 times per week, for at least five years. The researchers found:
- Men who smoked pot produced significantly less sperm, when compared to those who didn’t.
- Men who smoked pot produced less seminal fluid, when compared to those who didn’t.
- The swimming behavior (motility) of the sperm that were present were significantly different in men who used cannabis. Pot smoking sperm swam too fast, too early and then quickly tired out, and were less likely to travel the distance needed to fertilize an egg.
It was theorized from these findings that the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stimulates the sperm cells and causes the ineffective motility. Additionally, it is believed that the THC prevents the mechanism that normally blocks malfunctioning sperm. The research did not include how long (if possible) it would take to regain full fertility, if cannabis use was discontinued.
The researchers note that obviously there are longtime, frequent marijuana users who father children; however, they surmise for men who have a low sperm count or issues with sperm motility, marijuana use can make them completely infertile. Of course, there are other factors affecting the strength and health of your little swimmers — including nicotine use, diet, alcohol use, and exercise, to name a few — but, one thing becomes clear with this study…
If you’re hoping to hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house, just say “No.”