Association between use of marijuana and time to pregnancy in men and women: findings from the National Survey of Family Growth

Using a nationally representative population-based sample, marijuana use was not associated with time to pregnancy for both men and women.

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Volume 109, Issue 5, Pages 866–871

Authors:

Alex M. Kasman, M.D., Marie E. Thoma, Ph.D., Alexander C. McLain, Ph.D., Michael L. Eisenberg, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To determine if regular use of marijuana has an impact on time to pregnancy.

Design

Retrospective review of cross-sectional survey data from male and female respondents aged 15–44 years who participated in the 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2015 National Survey of Family Growth.

Setting

Not applicable.

Participant(s)

The National Survey of Family Growth is a nationally representative population-based sample derived from stratified multistage area probability sampling of 121 geographic areas in the U.S. Our analytic sample was participants who were actively trying to conceive.

Intervention(s)

Exposure status was based on the respondents' answers regarding their marijuana use in the preceding 12 months.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

The main outcome was estimated time to pregnancy, which was hypothesized before analysis to be delayed by regular marijuana use.

Result(s)

A total of 758 male and 1,076 female participants responded that they were actively trying to conceive. Overall, 16.5% of men reported using any marijuana while attempting to conceive, versus 11.5% of women. The time ratio to pregnancy for never smokers versus daily users of marijuana in men was 1.08 (95% confidence interval 0.79–1.47) and in women 0.92 (0.43–1.95), demonstrating no statistically significant impact of marijuana use on time to pregnancy.

Conclusion(s)

Our study suggests that neither marijuana use nor frequency of marijuana use was associated with time to pregnancy for men and women.



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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

5 Comments

Go to the profile of Jason Kovac
Jason Kovac 7 months ago

Wondering if the  National Survey of Family Growth obtained data regarding sperm counts.  This would be helpful to cast light on the association between sperm counts and marijuana use.  Other studies have suggest a negative interaction however in the context of this data, it could be tempting to speculate that such a relationship may not be identified (https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/182/6/473/82600).

Go to the profile of Michael Eisenberg
Michael Eisenberg 5 months ago

Unfortunately, NSFG does not have data regarding sperm counts.

Go to the profile of Michael Eisenberg
Michael Eisenberg 7 months ago

Great point.  Unfortunately, NSFG does not have that data.  While this study is not consistent with some other reports of marijuana and semen quality, there is now other TTP data that shows similar findings.

Go to the profile of Mary Samplaski
Mary Samplaski 5 months ago

I would be interested to know if the various modes of MJ intake (vaporizer vs joint vs edibles) has an impact. In theory, vaporizer should have less "bad" chemicals, but there is no data to base this off of. 

Go to the profile of Michael Eisenberg
Michael Eisenberg 5 months ago

This is an important point.  However, the question only asked about smoking marijuana thus other forms of use are uncertain.