Marijuana use and ovulation

Published Apr 3, 2019 10:45 a.m. ET
Image by therapractice from Pixabay

While we do know that cannabis is full of useful cannabinoids that can serve a wide variety of purposes, what many don’t realize is that putting anything into your body is going to lead to some sort of effects. The problem is that human biology is so intricate and unique from one person to the next that it can be difficult to predict what it might do to you. Often, the best medicinal traits are what is used to garner weed research funding by the millions, but there are a few potential side effects that you might want to know about, especially if you are actively trying to conceive.


For those who don’t know, the period of ovulation is when an egg is released from a woman's ovary and travels into the Fallopian tube where it sits ready to be fertilized by sperm. Ovulation typically happens around two weeks after a menstrual cycle but can change from one person to the next. The amount of time that it takes can also vary monthly leaving a window of optimal fertility which is the best time to get pregnant and usually takes place within 24-72 hours before ovulation.

Does marijuana use affect ovulation?

For those who are trying to conceive the last thing you want is a meandering cycle. There have been very few studies to confirm the possible effects that using cannabis may have on ovulation, and the majority of what we do know is based on tobacco studies. Cigarettes have hundreds of additional chemicals that marijuana simply doesn’t, and to date, there has been no in-depth weed research about ovulation. Instead, there are a few most significant arguments both for and against the possibility of interference with a woman's potential chances of getting pregnant.  

Libido- A lack of desire is thought to be one of the most influential factors in how long it takes a woman to become pregnant. Since marijuana use can lower a person’s inhibitions, this is a potentially negative side effect that can lead to issues with dryness or a complete lack of arousal that makes it so that sex, just doesn't happen at all. There have been several studies that show couples who both enjoy a sexual encounter are much more likely to get pregnant when compared to those who are experiencing discomfort. The problem with this argument is that there is just as much evidence to show that some cannabis strains can be used in small doses to provide an aphrodisiac effect which enhances the experience.  


Sperm Count- Marijuana use has proven to lower sperm count in men, particularly chronic or daily user’s. Though scientists don’t quite seem to understand why it appears as though it might affect up to 50% of a man’s sperm and the remaining aren’t nearly as active as non-cannabis user’s, this can lead to an issue in getting pregnant for couples that use marijuana together.

Smoke Inhalation- Smoking anything isn’t great for you especially if you are worried about tracking your ovulation since it releases antacids that can throw off the timing of a woman's cycle. Though cigarettes are much more likely to cause this, cannabis does hold a minor potential to as well.

Will marijuana use interfere with ovulation?

It seems there is no real cut and dry answer to that question. There are many different influential factors that will come into play such as genetics which is around 80% responsible for how exactly a woman’s body chooses to ovulate. The remaining 20% are environmental factors that may include how much cannabis you smoke regularly. Though many women can enjoy marijuana without any disruption in their monthly cycle, there are some who do seem to experience this adverse effect which can be restricting if you are trying to keep track in order to conceive. The only way to truly know if it is affecting you personally is to keep track for a few months with and without using cannabis to compare and see if there are any dramatic changes. It is entirely possible for marijuana use to have this adverse effect which is mainly a concern for couples who are already struggling with fertility issues.  



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