Cannabis and Fertility

August 17, 2021

It’s no secret that cannabis has been widely used for years as a recreational drug, and most recently as an alternative medical treatment. Today, with its legalization and/or decriminalization in the U.S., its use is even more widespread – especially among younger ages.

Although research on the long-term health benefits and risks are on the horizon, they are currently limited. Most men are aware that cannabis has a negative impact on fertility, but research has yet to determine why. 

A comprehensive literature review looked across multiple studies and papers about the impact of cannabis use on men’s health, and it  concluded that more research was needed. Evidence suggested that cannabis plays a role in reducing sperm count and concentration. It might also cause abnormalities in sperm morphology, motility and viability. Studies have been inconclusive in identifying the exact impact of cannabis on hormones influencing fertility like testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), but it does suggest there is a negative impact.

As cannabis becomes more popular and legalized throughout the U.S., these issues will be more thoroughly studied. More information needs to be gathered, specifically based on human studies. Additionally, the impact of use on younger, reproductive ages and chronic vs. recreational use needs to be addressed. Patients using cannabis should be aware of the potential effects on fertility and if undergoing a male infertility work-up, should disclose any current or prior use. 

If you have any fertility concerns and would like an evaluation, contact Austin Urology Institute at 512.694.8888 to schedule an appointment.