Comparative Results of Cannabis Use and Fertility Treatments
The results of a new study have surprised researchers, but you should know that men who smoke grass are more likely to have a baby with their partner than those who do not consume, according to a new study surprising . Originally posted on Live Science.
The study, published August 14 in the journal Human Reproduction, involved several hundred couples in fertility treatment by in vitro fertilization (IVF). The researchers found that women are likely to make more miscarriages than women who do not consume them. On the other hand, couples whose male partner consumed were more likely to have a child, compared to couples whose male partner did not consume.
What is the link between smoking cannabis in women and men and the results of IVF?
This result was unexpected, according to the authors, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston. The researchers hypothesized that smoking grass would not be linked to fertility outcomes in men or women, as has been the case in previous studies.
But the new result is consistent with the conclusions ofan earlier study led by the same group of researchers. In this study, men who reported having already smoked weed had, on average, a higher sperm count than those who had never eaten.
Nevertheless, new discoveries do not mean that men should start smoking to increase their fertility. Only a small number of participants reported smoking during their fertility treatment, which reduces the strength of the results. At most, they suggest that cannabis may not have a harmful effect on men's fertility, according to the authors. On the other hand, researchers do not think that their findings should be considered as evidence that the herb has a beneficial effect for men who are undergoing fertility treatment.
There is an urgent need for " additional searches to clarify the role of consumption on human reproduction and the health of offspring ", the authors concluded.
Despite increasing use and legalization around the world, scientists know little about the impact of cannabis on fertility. And few studies have focused on both men and women.
DESIGN, SIZE AND DURATION OF THE STUDY
In the new study, the researchers analyzed data from 200 couples who followed fertility treatment at home. Massachusetts General Hospital between 2005 and 2017. The researchers also included data from other 220 women who received fertility treatment but did not have a partner in the study. The study followed 421 women who underwent 730 antiretroviral treatment cycles by participating in a prospective cohort (reproductive health study) in a fertility center between 2004 and 2017. Of these, 200 women (368 cycles) were part of a couple in which the partner also enrolled in the study.
Participants were asked if they were currently eating, if they had eaten in the past, or if they had never eaten.
Overall, 44% of women and 61% of men in the study reported having smoked cannabis at some point in their lives. But only 12 women (3%) and 23 men (12%) in the study reported consuming constantly.
Among the small number of women who reported smoking and becoming pregnant during the study, more than 50% experienced a pregnancy loss, compared to only 26% of women who had ever used or had never done so.
This result suggests that weed consumption among women "could be linked to worse outcomes during IVF treatment," according to the authors. But they warn that since very few women in the study currently consume cannabis, it is possible that this discovery was due to chance.
On the other hand, among couples whose male partner was a regular consumer, 48% ended up having a live birth, compared to only 29% of couples whose male partner was a former consumer or who had never used it. The link was maintained even after researchers took into account factors that could affect fertility, including age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), history of smoking, coffee consumption, alcohol and cocaine use of participants.
More and more patients are wondering about the effects of cannabis on reproduction, but doctors have had few studies to share when they need to counsel their patients.
"At least once a week, I have patients who question me about the effects of weed on male fertility," says Dr. Neel Parekh, a urologist specializing in male fertility and men's health at home. Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute of Cleveland Clinic. "There is no big answer yet that we can give them."
In this sense, the new study is "a step in the right directionSaid Parekh at Live Science.
However, the new study alone is not enough for doctors to recommend men to smoke before fertility treatment.
Parekh noted that with only 23 men in the study who reported on their current intake, "it's hard to say that weed will improve success rates" with fertility treatments. But Parekh agrees with the authors that, rather than showing an advantage in itself, the study suggests that smoking cannabis may not interfere with the chances of successful fertility treatment when the male partner uses it.
The authors of the study note that their work included couples under fertility treatment and that the results may therefore not apply to couples who are trying to conceive without medical assistance. Indeed, Parekh noted that some forms of IVF use only one sperm to fertilize an egg and that with these treatments, the number of sperm of a man is usually not a significant problem. But when couples try to conceive naturally, the sperm count is higher.
In addition, the new study only focused on smoking: smoking grass and not other forms of consumption.
More in-depth studies are now needed to address this issue, Parekh said, and he expects further research in this area in the coming years.
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