Having children necessitates a great deal of lifestyle changes, many of which start not when the baby is born or even when you get pregnant, but as soon as you start trying to conceive. When it comes to smoking pot, it’s a good idea to stop smoking before you start trying to conceive, because smoking can have an effect on your fertility.
Effects on Sperm
Studies show that smoking pot has a detrimental effect on the way sperm behave. In a normal situation, the sperm enter a state of hyperactivation when they near the egg, giving them the final “push” needed to reach and fertilize the egg. But when you smoke pot, the sperm are hyperactive at the moment of ejaculation, causing them to essentially exhaust themselves before they are able to reach and fertilize the egg.
It’s true that some people are able to conceive even though they smoke pot. However, keep in mind that everyone has different levels of fertility – and smoking can put someone who is borderline over the edge into infertile territory.
The female partner’s smoking habits can have an effect on fertility as well. Marijuana enters all of the body’s fluids, including cervical fluid; when the sperm come into contact with this fluid, they enter the same state of hyperactivation as when it’s the man who’s smoking pot.
Marijuana can stay in the body for as long as a month, especially if you smoke regularly. Therefore, doctors recommend that you stop smoking at least a month before trying to conceive, to ensure that you have as few problems with fertility as possible. Similarly, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking if you are having trouble trying to conceive as the first course of treatment.
Apart from the immediate effects on fertility, there are other considerations to keep in mind about smoking pot if you are planning on starting a family. Studies show that there is a higher chance of birth defects and poor fetal growth in women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy. This risk exists from the very outset of pregnancy, so women trying to conceive should stop smoking marijuana, as well as doing other drugs and alcohol.
Once the baby is actually born, most new parents find that the hectic schedule and desire to engage with the baby preclude smoking pot or using other substances.
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