March 28, 2018

Highlights from Fertility and Sterility: Marijuana Use Not Associated with Longer Time to Conception

Researchers retrospectively reviewing data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) found the data showed that for reproductive-age men and women in the United States trying to conceive, marijuana use, or frequency of use, is not associated with a longer time to pregnancy (TTP).

The study population under review included 758 men and 1076 female women between the ages of 15 and 44 who took part in the 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2015 NSFG who were trying to become pregnant.

The subjects’ intent to conceive and the duration of their attempts were ascertained by asking several questions. Women who were not pregnant or using contraception at the time they were surveyed, but who were sexually active, were asked whether the reason they were not using contraception was because they wanted to become pregnant. If they answered, “yes,” they were asked how long they had been trying. Men were asked about their partner’s current pregnancy status and the couple’s contraceptive usage and plans to conceive. Those men who were part of a couple trying to initiate pregnancy were asked how long they had been trying.

Men and women surveyed were asked about the frequency of their marijuana use over the previous 12 months: none, less than once a month, more than once a month, or weekly. While trying to conceive, 16.5% of men and 11.5% of women used marijuana.

The current duration of TTP for women and men who used marijuana at different frequencies was compared to the TTP of those who reported no use of the drug. Statistical analyses did not demonstrate any significant impact of marijuana use on TTP.

The authors note that there is still limited data on the impact of marijuana use on fertility and that further studies are needed to better understand the associations between marijuana use and reproductive function. ASRM President, Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD, shares their caution, “Marijuana is the most widely used recreational drug in the US and its use is increasing, particularly in the reproductive-age population. This study lays a good foundation for further investigation, however it is not enough to allow us to assure patients trying to become pregnant that marijuana use will not harm them or their hoped-for children.”

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