Men who have smoked marijuana are more fertile

It could be that a little bit of pot boosts sperm production a relation that reverses at higher

A USA study of men seeking fertility treatment found that those who had smoked marijuana had a higher sperm concentration than those who never used the drug.

They looked at semen samples taken from more than 600 men who had visited Massachusetts General Hospital's fertility clinic from 2000 to 2017.

Researchers have investigated whether using cannabis affects a man's fertility.

They noted that the average age of the men at the time of sample collection was 36 years and of these participants, 55 percent had used marijuana at some point in their lives. This system sends signals to the brain and these signals may play a role in fertility, they explain. Among marijuana smokers, the researchers found greater use was associated with higher serum testosterone levels.

While cocaine use was associated with a higher estimated proportion - 12 per cent having sperm concentration below World Health Organization reference values.

The study showed those who had smoked marijuana had an average sperm concentration of 63-M sperm per milliliter of semen, while those who had never used the drug had 45-M sperm per milliliter of semen.

"These unexpected findings highlight how little we know about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact of the health effects of marijuana in general".

In a statement, Chavarro said that the results can not be taken on face value and need to be "interpreted with caution".

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However, the scientists pointed out that most studies have hitherto focused on heavy drug users or animals. That conclusion surprised Jorge Chavarro - one of the study's lead authors, who is also associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Among men who never smoked marijuana, 12 percent had lower-than-normal sperm concentrations. The majority of the men participating had normal sperm counts, suggesting that other conception issues may have been the issue. Other research revealed marijuana use reduced sperm motility and ejaculate volume.

"There seems to be a lot going on in terms of legalization, but not an equally fast pace in terms of knowing what the health effects of marijuana might be", Chavarro added.

However the authors wrote that their findings may not relate to the general population, and said their study was limited by the fact they relied on the men reporting their use of cannabis accurately. In addition, a study from past year found that marijuana's active ingredient, THC, can change the structure and development of a sperm's DNA. He also points out that semen quality is not necessarily a predictor of how easily or quickly a couple can get pregnant and that "these findings should not be interpreted as implying better fertility with cannabis use".

If you're a male looking to increase your chances of getting a woman pregnant, you may want to start smoking marijuana.

Given the illegal status of marijuana in some places and its social stigma, the researchers also have reason to believe some of the participants they studied underreported their marijuana use in the surveys.

"Our findings were contrary to what we initially hypothesized", stated Feiby Nassan, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Chan School and the lead author of the study. It's possible that low levels of marijuana could boost sperm quality, they say, while higher levels and repeated use could have a negative effect.

With these limitations in mind, it is clear more research must be done to truly understand how marijuana use can affect a person's sperm and, by default, their fertility.

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