Results from a recent study conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and published in the Human Reproduction journal, show evidence that women who consume cannabis could be less likely to get pregnant.
According to the results of the study, which is called “Cannabis use while trying to conceive: a prospective cohort study evaluating associations with fecundability, live birth and pregnancy loss,” women who tested positive in a urine test for cannabis were 40 percent less likely to get pregnant during each menstrual cycle. A difference in reproductive hormones was also apparent between those who consumed cannabis and those who did not. “These results highlight potentially harmful associations between cannabis use and reproductive health outcomes,” the researchers wrote in the study.
Study participants were tested for six months while actively trying to get pregnant. They reported whether they used cannabis, and provided at least two urine samples, one at the start of the study and another six months later, or at the time of pregnancy.
According to researchers, other studies have suggested that cannabis can change the lining of the uterus, but those studies were only conducted on animals. More research is necessary in order to show how cannabis affects fertility in humans.
Additionally, even the researchers themselves admit that only a small number of people in the study consumed cannabis, which resulted in a small sample pool. It also didn’t account for cannabis use in partners. So, while it shows there is a link, it only exhibits minor evidence of a correlation between cannabis and fertility problems.
The study also involved only those who had experienced a previous miscarriage, so more information would be required in order to show that the same findings are present in cannabis users who have not had miscarriages.
For the time being, the authors are cautioning that those trying to conceive should be cautious about using cannabis, according to an official statement. Until more information is gathered, however, there are no conclusive findings about how cannabis impacts fertility in women.