The limited evidence available regarding reproductive issues associated with cannabis use led researchers from the National Institutes of US Health (NIH) to investigate the effects of using cannabis products in women trying to conceive. Their findings, published in Human Reproduction, suggest that cannabis users had lower fecundability.
The prospective analysis included 1,228 women with a history of pregnancy loss who were followed for up to six cycles while attempting pregnancy, and throughout pregnancy, if they conceived. Cannabis use was assessed both by self-report and through biomarker measurements.
The results show that 62 women (5%) used cannabis products during preconception, based on combined urinary metabolite measurements and self-report. These women had reduced fecundability compared with those who did not use cannabis. Preconception cannabis use was also associated with increased frequency of intercourse per cycle. No associations between cannabis use and pregnancy loss were found.
The researchers say these findings highlight the potential risks associated with cannabis use among women attempting pregnancy, especially those with a history of pregnancy loss.
In the climate of increasing legalisation of cannabis products, there is a need for more evidence regarding its effects on reproductive health, the authors conclude.