John S. Rinehart MD, PhD, Partner/Reproductive Medicine Institute (www.teamrmi.com)
As a product of the 1960’s, a time of social revolution and the further introduction of many drugs, both legal and illegal including the Birth Control Pill, I find it astonishing how rapidly the use of marijuana has become accepted. Therefore, I was intrigued that one of the articles required for Continued Medical Education (CME) for certification this year had an article about marijuana and the time to pregnancy. This blog is derived from that paper. (Kasman et al Association between use of marijuana and time to pregnancy in men and women : findings from the national Survey of Family Growth 2018 Fertility and Sterility 109:866-871).
A POPULAR CHOICE
The authors emphasize that marijuana is the most used recreational drug in the US and they state that over 22.2 million people have used it within the preceding month, with 117 million lifetime users. The authors further note that 26 states have laws that permit medical marijuana use and seven states (including the District of Columbia) permit recreational use. That is an enormous exposure to a drug that until recently was considered detrimental to both health and moral well-being. Inevitably, patients who have had exposure to marijuana will also experience infertility. The logical question becomes: Is marijuana one of the reasons for their infertility?
The authors studied the use of marijuana using a survey performed national in 121 geographic regions. The authors studied the time to achieve a pregnancy. They hypothesized that marijuana use would prolong the time to conception.
THE RESULTS ARE IN
The results were as follows: There were 758 males and 1076 female participants who were actively trying to conceive. Of the males, 16.5% reported marijuana use and 11.5% of the females reported marijuana use while trying to conceive. The results demonstrated that exposure to marijuana while trying to conceive had NO effect on the time to pregnancy.
The authors concluded that use of marijuana or the frequency of use of marijuana did not alter the time to achieve a pregnancy.
Attitudes are rapidly changing about the use of marijuana. And, as expected, with this change and increasing acceptance, the use of marijuana has increased. For couples experiencing problems conceiving , the question arises about marijuana use. This study supports the contention that marijuana does not decrease the chance to conceive for couples trying to conceive. It can also be surmised that more data will be available in the months and years to come.