Does cannabis affect sperm?
We know that tobacco and alcohol are high on the list of things that slow down sperm, and if you’re looking to get pregnant, you probably shouldn’t be using them. Should you be worried about using cannabis if you’re trying to have a baby though?
Australian researchers have found that perhaps you should be careful if you want to have a baby, and have a think before you light up a joint. Scientists at the University of Western Australia have discovered that cannabis can damage the DNA in sperm, possibly increasing the risk of birth defects and childhood illness like cancer.
In May, a University of Adelaide study of 5,600 women linked smoking cannabis up until the 20th week of pregnancy to a fivefold increase in pre-term births.
The study, led by Professor Claire Roberts from the University's Robinson Research Institute, followed women from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK and builds on earlier research from the Institute that found that women who used cannabis before pregnancy were twice as likely to have a pre-term birth.
"We're confident that marijuana shouldn't be used in pregnancy and it's important that the message gets out there," says Professor Roberts. "This new study suggests that, over all, more than six per cent of pre-term births could have been prevented if women didn't use marijuana," she said. "Among the Australian women in the study where there was a higher proportion of marijuana users, almost 12 per cent of pre-term births could have been prevented.”
So, while we may know that cannabis is harmless in almost circumstances, do be aware that it might be wise to have a break while trying to have a child.