Fifteen U.S. states, including Washington, have legalized the possession and use of marijuana in recent years. At Bellevue Sperm Bank, our experts often get questions from donors and potential donors about how marijuana may affect sperm count, overall sperm health, and their ability to join our donor program. To help answer those questions, we researched some studies highlighting possible connections between marijuana use and sperm health.
How Marijuana May Affect Sperm Count
Although more research is needed to reach conclusive results, enough studies have been done to confirm that regular marijuana use (generally defined as more than once a week) does seem to negatively affect sperm health and can make men less fertile. Similarly, studies have found that heavy use (or daily or multiple times per day) also decreases sperm count. However, the evidence for less frequent users is still inconclusive and sometimes conflicting. Some key findings of the research include:
- Plenty of evidence exists to suggest a negative connection between marijuana use and sperm health. This includes sperm motility, which affects how well a sperm cell can reach and fertilize a women’s egg. While more research is needed, many compounds found within marijuana, including Tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), are known to damage sperm cells.
- Most fertility experts advise men to not use marijuana if they are trying to conceive a child with their spouse or partner.
- There may also be a potential connection between marijuana use and erectile dysfunction, though not enough evidence exists to reach a definitive conclusion.
- Perhaps confusingly, one study found that men who smoked marijuana had significantly higher sperm concentrations over men who had never smoked.
While BSB not disqualify men who use marijuana from joining our program, it’s important to know that regular use can damage sperm health. This can in turn affect whether you are selected as a sperm donor .