Trying to get pregnant? Don’t use cannabis

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Trying to Get Pregnant? Don’t Use Cannabis

As cannabis products become legal in more places, usage is rising including among those trying for a baby. But scientists strongly caution against marijuana use when attempting conception. Here’s why cannabis and trying to conceive don’t mix.

How Could Cannabis Affect Fertility?

Cannabis products like marijuana, THC oil, and CBD oil act on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system regulates key reproductive functions like ovulation, hormone regulation, and implantation.

Interfering with these functions through frequent cannabis use can potentially:

  • Disrupt menstrual cycles and prevent ovulation. This blocks conception.
  • Alter sperm production, motility and function, contributing to abnormal sperm.
  • Cause changes in the uterus lining that make implantation more difficult.
  • Negatively interact with fertility treatments.
  • Increase miscarriage risks if used in very early pregnancy before positive test.

Additionally, chemicals in cannabis linger in the body for weeks to months with regular use. These compounds easily cross into the uterine environment and breastmilk once pregnant.

What Does The Research Show?

Though research is still emerging, here’s what science indicates so far:

  • Women using cannabis frequently experience up to twice the rate of infertility and take longer to conceive.
  • Men using cannabis at least once weekly show significant drops in sperm concentration, count, morphology and motility.
  • Cannabis use is associated with dysregulated menstrual cycles, disrupted ovulation, and lower progesterone.
  • Studies show cannabis disrupts the uterine environment needed for implantation.
  • Meta-analyses link cannabis use with increased miscarriage rates.
  • Animal studies reveal THC exposure leads to pregnancy complications and low birth weight.

While occasional cannabis likely causes low fertility harm, regular and heavy usage does appear to carry significant reproductive risks you should know about.

Potential Health Risks of Cannabis While Pregnant

If you do become pregnant, cannabis use during pregnancy may increase the chances of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth
  • Low birth weight
  • Developmental defects and disabilities
  • Cognitive and behavioral issues that emerge later in childhood

No amount of cannabis during pregnancy is considered safe. THC crosses the placenta and accumulates in breastmilk, impacting the baby.

Tips for Quitting Cannabis When Trying to Conceive

Ideally, cease all forms of cannabis at least 3-6 months before attempting pregnancy. This allows complete clearance from your system and restores optimal fertility.

To help quit:

  • Gradually taper down dosage and frequency. Going cold turkey may trigger withdrawal.
  • Try counselling, support groups, yoga, meditation, acupuncture or other wellness therapies.
  • Avoid cannabis-using friends and remove products from your home.
  • Find new hobbies and stress relief techniques to fill your time.
  • Stay hydrated, active and eat a healthy diet to speed clearance.
  • Consider discussing cannabis cessation medication options with your doctor if struggling.

Focus on creating the optimal bodily environment welcoming to new life. Let your doctor know if you need help quitting cannabis or tobacco products. Conception and pregnancy create an ideal opportunity to choose healthy habits for your future child.

The Takeaway

Cannabis usage, even occasionally, poses substantial risks to fertility, pregnancy and fetal development. If considering pregnancy, stop all forms of cannabis for at least several months beforehand and avoid during pregnancy. Your body needs to clear all traces in order to conceive and nurture new life most safely.

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