Publicado: Sol, Febrero 10, 2019
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

Smoking cannabis may increase sperm count

Smoking cannabis may increase sperm count

Men who had smoked marijuana had more concentrated sperm than men who had never smoked marijuana, the researchers found. Sperm concentration was almost 63 million per milliliter for men who had smoked versus only about 45 million per milliliter for those had never smoked, the team reports today in the journal Human Reproduction.

As reported by the Bloomberg, the investigators collected over 1,143 semen samples from 662 men who had sought for contraception help at the health facility between 2000 and 2017.

When Dr. Jorge Chavarro's team started investigating marijuana's effects on sperm, they had every reason to believe weed would prove detrimental to "testicular function", because other studies had said it to be so. Cocaine use was associated with a higher estimated proportion of men (12 %) having sperm concentration below World Health Organization reference values.

Nevertheless, the study authors quickly noted that smoking cannabis may not mean that one's chances of becoming a father increases.

"We spent a good two months redoing everything, making sure that there wasn't any error in the data", Cahvarro was quoted by Bloomberg.

A new Harvard study says that men who smoke pot have a higher sperm count than their non-smoking counterparts. Previous studies on marijuana have suggested that it is associated with negative effects on male reproductive health, but most of those studies had focused on animal models or on men with histories of drug abuse.

Past studies have claimed that using the drug could lower a man's sperm count. It's also possible that, as some research has suggested, heavy or early cannabis use is really what can harm sperm, while the occasional puff as an adult might provide a boost to fertility.

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"The relations we see between cannabis smoking, sperm counts and testosterone levels are because men with higher testosterone, within normal levels, have higher sperm counts and are more likely to smoke cannabis", she said. One 2014 study surveyed almost 2,000 British men and found that men under 30 with less than four per cent normal sperm were twice as likely to have used marijuana in the past three months. The men were enrolled at the Massachusetts General Hospital fertility centre; 317 of them also supplied blood samples that were analyzed for reproductive hormones.

New US research has revealed a surprising link between marijuana and a man's fertility, finding that men who have smoked the drug have a significantly higher concentration of sperm compared to men who have never smoked it.

The study, however, did not find a difference in sperm concentration from current and former smokers. "An equally plausible interpretation is that our findings could reflect the fact that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in risk-seeking behaviors, including smoking marijuana".

However, each additional year that had passed since a man last used marijuana a slight rise in sperm count would appear.

"Our results need to be interpreted with caution, and they highlight the need to further study the health effects of marijuana use".

None of these limitations or considerations invalidate study's findings, it's just a sign, as Chavarro said, that we need to study cannabis more (the fact that cannabis is still considered more unsafe than opioids by the USA government remains a roadblock to that research, incidentally).

What's more, only 5 percent of the marijuana smokers had lower-than-normal sperm concentrations - that is, lower than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

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