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Medicinal Marijuana: Harmful for Fertility

Oluyemisi Famuyiwa, MD FACOG explains several of the effects that marijuana has on the reproductive system, before conceiving, as well as after conceiving.

August 17, 2023

In addition to its negative effects on the gametes (Eggs and Sperm); it can interfere with the transport function of the fallopian tube.  The fallopian tubes are responsible for picking up recently ovulated eggs and is the location of fertilization of the egg. The fertilized egg is then transported by both the cilia (hair like projections) on the top of cells lining the inside of the tube as well as peristaltic motion of the smooth muscle wall of the tube itself. The interference of the function of the tube can lead to an increase in the risk of ectopic pregnancies.

 

"Some studies have reported altered levels of LH & FSH, which could potentially disrupt the timing and regularity of ovulation."

 

 

Now assuming the egg and sperm safely navigate the above pitfalls, and the resulting embryo manages to traverse the fallopian tube to make it to the uterine cavity, there is another snare waiting for it.  THC has been shown to impair the proper implantation of the embryo in the uterine cavity. The endometrium, the lining of the uterus, needs to be receptive to support the implantation and growth of a fertilized embryo. Animal studies have suggested that marijuana exposure can affect endometrial receptivity, potentially compromising the successful implantation of an embryo.

 

Animal studies have suggested that marijuana exposure can affect endometrial receptivity, potentially compromising the successful implantation of an embryo. Click To Tweet

 

If by some miracle the embryo overcomes all said hurdles, there is a final challenge to having a healthy baby. THC can interfere with proper function of folic acid thereby increasing the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Marijuana can cross the placenta in pregnant women and may have harmful effects on the growing baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advise pregnant and lactating patients to abstain from using marijuana.

Marijuana use during pregnancy has been associated with potential risks, including an increased likelihood of preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues in the child. It is important to note that these effects may not be directly related to fertility but rather the potential impact of marijuana exposure on the developing fetus.

If you have concerns about marijuana, use and its potential impact on female fertility, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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