Since sperm concentration can greatly affect a person’s reproductive abilities, the study’s authors also looked at the potential for this trait to be passed from a cannabis user down to their offspring. Based on previous studies about cigarette smokers’ ability to pass on certain traits, they found that there is a chance cannabis users who have genetically-changed sperm might cause their children to also have genetically changed sperm.
This factor is important because if fewer sperm are present in a person’s semen, there is a decreased chance that a sperm will reach an egg and fertilize it. According to the Mayo Clinic, a low sperm count or concentration means a person has fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. To determine a person’s sperm count, doctors must look at semen under a microscope on two separate occasions for accuracy purposes, the Mayo Clinic explained.
Sperm concentration, along with other factors like sperm motility and testosterone levels, can affect a person’s ability to conceive a child, according to the Mayo Clinic. So the study’s findings suggest a person who uses cannabis may have more difficulty conceiving than someone who does not use cannabis.
Sperm concentration affects a person’s ability to conceive, so a lower concentration could make it more difficult to have a child
The small study, which looked at the sperm of 37 men who either used or did not use cannabis, concluded that use of the substance can significantly change a person’s sperm concentration. The study also looked at how cannabis use affected ejaculation, semen volume, semen pH, and motility, and found that the substance did not create a significant change in these categories.
Cannabis can affect the body in a number of ways, including sperm concentration, a new study from Duke University found.
“What we have found is that the effects of cannabis use on males and their reproductive health are not completely null, in that there’s something about cannabis use that affects the genetic profile in sperm,” Scott Kollins, a senior author of the study, said in a statement.
Since the sample size of the study was relatively small, however, more research must be done to understand how cannabis affects a person’s sperm and how those genetic-level changes could be passed down to offspring.
Tech Times recently reported on another study regarding health and the use of marijuana. That study revealed that weed use may lead to an increased risk of a person suffering from sleep problems.
“Cannabis smoking was more common in those men who had sperm morphology less than 4%,” Pacey said. “Cannabis affects one of the processes involved in determining size and shape. And we also know that the way cannabis is metabolized is different in fertile and infertile men.”
The research did not find any link between abnormal sperm and other lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking. That may be, say researchers, because the men in the study were striving to have children and may have stopped such habits.
“We weren’t really interested in [the cannabis angle] at all,” said lead researcher Dr. Alan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield in England. “We were interested in trying to best define the risks of sperm quality. We recruited [a couple thousand] guys, who gave us a sperm sample and allowed us to investigate aspects of their lives. It was just one of the things we asked if they did; it was no more detailed than that.”
The study focused on lifestyle activities such as drinking, pot use and the impact on sperm size and shape.
“I do know there is some work in laboratory animals that suggests [marijuana] can affect the way the DNA in the sperm is packaged together, and that’s significant,” Pacey said. “When sperm are made, the DNA they maintain has to be packaged in the head very tightly, and when that process doesn’t work properly, you get an abnormal sperm. So the cannabis is maybe interrupting that DNA folding.”
A research effort in sperm quality reveals smoking marijuana could change the shape and the quality of sperm and put a man’s fertility at risk.
Of course, there are many babies born to men that take baths and use laptops, so the jury is still out.
It takes plenty of testosterone to make sperm, but testosterone supplements can actually KO the body’s sperm-making machinery, says Dr. Niederberger. That’s because too much testosterone shuts down the pituitary, the gland that regulates the testicles’ production of sperm.
iStockPhoto The testicles are supposed to be in the scrotum, whose built-in cooling system helps keep the sperm assembly line humming along. But some guys have a condition known as cryptorchidism, in which the testicles have failed to “descend” from the body to the scrotum. And since heat kills sperm, says Dr. Niederberger, the longer the testicles remain outside their cool scrotal home, the more likely future sperm production is likely to be imperiled.
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Some scientists have even suggested using testosterone as a male contraceptive.
So if you wake up with a scrotum that really smarts, don’t be stupid. Head to the nearest emergency room.
istockphoto The stuff in marijuana that makes you feel high – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – can lay low your sperm.