It’s been suggested for years that smoking pot can significantly lower sperm production. There’s really all kinds of things that can affect sperm count. Stress, sitting for prolonged periods of time (think semi-truck drivers), certain occupations (welders in particular), working with your laptop on your lap, being obese, wearing tight skivvies, and exposure to heavy metals are just a few.
But what about weed? Does smoking weed really lower sperm counts? Should guys trying to conceive lay off the cannabis for a bit? Some studies say yes.
Studies Show Weed Leads to Lower Sperm Counts
Are you a young man smoking weed on the regular? A 2015 Denmark study showed that 18-28-year-old men who regularly smoked marijuana had lower sperm counts than those who weren’t cannabis consumers. How much lower? 29 percent, to be exact. What’s more is the guys that regularly smoked weed and also partook in other recreational drug use had sperm counts up to 55 percent lower.
The study also found that sperm concentrations (measured slightly differently than sperm counts) were 28 percent lower in men who consumed cannabis at least once a week. Researchers also highlighted however, the men who had smoked cannabis also drank more alcohol and coffee, and were also more likely to smoke cigarettes.
“We cannot exclude,” wrote researchers, “the possibility that the men who used marijuana generally have an unhealthier lifestyle and health behavior, which may also affect their semen quality and hormone levels.”
While there haven’t been many studies on the subject, the ones that have been conducted all point to similar findings.
Smoking Weed Makes Sperm Less Fertile
A 2003 study conducted by the University of Buffalo showed that smoking cannabis can make sperm less fertile. Even if it’s the woman who’s smoking it. It’s believed this is caused by THC making its way to the vagina, uterus, oviduct when she smokes. When the sperm enters her body, it reaches the THC where it is then altered.
Human Reproduction published a study in 2014 that showed regularly smoking weed changes size and shape of a man’s sperm. Unusually-shaped sperm cells can make it tough to reproduce.
Suffice to say, if you’re planning on conceiving, it’s best to leave cannabis out of the equation. Planning on trying to have a baby? Best put down the pipe.