Chronic Cannabis Use & Male Reproduction: The Underlining Connection
Fertility and reproductive health are tethered to a myriad of different aspects. From genetics to everyday lifestyle choices, reproductive health is never the same for everyone, as it can be affected by many factors. Moreover, with the rise of accessibility and legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use, the use of marijuana is a lifestyle decision that could particularly affect men with underlining reproductive concerns.
According to a new study published on Fertility and Sterility, excessive exposure to THC, a molecule found in marijuana, can negatively impact male reproductive health. The study evaluated the effects of increased cannabis use over time which led to a decrease in bilateral testicular volume by 58% in male macaques—a class of primates.
The study also analyzed other significant side effects:
- Decreased testosterone production
- Lower semen volume
- Testicular atrophy
Although this study was conducted on macaque primates, the data does rise enough concern to pose the question of how this could potentially affect the reproductive health in humans.
More studies are needed to conclude if the discontinued use of cannabis could reverse the side effects, but significantly reducing your exposure to cannabis or completely omitting its use, is a great way to lessen the chances of it negatively affecting your reproductive well-being in the long run.
Along with cutting back on cannabis exposure, there are many other ways that altering your lifestyle choices could help improve fertility and reproductive vitality. A nutritious diet, cutting back on alcohol consumption/smoking, and finding healthy ways to manage stress levels are all positive habits that can place your health at the forefront.
Navigating the fertility journey can often mean a change in lifestyle and an openness to learning about how to improve your reproductive health. Beginning a family is a rite of passage for many, but it all begins with healthy decisions to increase your chances of fertility.