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There was a lower likelihood of conceiving “despite an increased frequency of intercourse,” according to the study’s abstract.
However, when pregnancy was achieved, the study’s authors found no differences in miscarriage rates between cannabis users and non-users.
Participants were among a larger group of 1,228 women between the ages of 18 and 40 who had previously had one or two miscarriages. From 2006 to 2012, women participated for up to six monthly cycles while trying to get pregnant and throughout pregnancy in case conception occurred, reports the NIH.
Prejudices reported by women themselves that cannabis was consumed four times during the course of the study: at the start of the study, after six months of follow-up or at the start of the conception cycle, and in weeks four and eight of pregnancy.
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The researchers make it clear that any conclusions about cannabis use and fertility should be tempered, as the study included only a small number of cannabis users, which amounted to five percent. Only 1.3 percent of the participants consumed cannabis in the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
In addition, the NIH notes that the researchers failed to take into account female cannabis use, which could have affected conception rates.
The researchers also point out that cannabis users had “higher levels of luteinizing hormone and higher levels of luteinizing hormone in follicle-stimulating hormone” compared to non-users, differences that “may have influenced the likelihood of conception”.
All That Was Said, “The authors say their results suggest that women trying to conceive should exercise caution when using cannabis until clearer evidence is available,” according to the NIH. “Despite limited evidence of safety, cannabis use continues to increase during critical periods of pregnancy,” adds the abstract of the study.
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The results of research on cannabis use and pregnancy are mixed. Some recent studies have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to conditions or behaviors in offspring, including psychotic behaviors and autism.
However, a study published last year found that “no current evidence suggests that prenatal cannabis exposure alone is associated with clinically significant cognitive dysfunction”.
Only a handful of studies have looked at the effects of cannabis use on female fertility, according to a post from the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Women’s Mental Health. “We will continue to recommend that women (and their male partners) who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant do not use cannabis,” the post said.
The US Food and Drug Administration has also firmly advised not to use CBD, THC and cannabis “in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding”.