Tag Archives: pregnancy

Marijuana may undermine fertility treatment success

Marijuana may undermine fertility treatment success

2019-08-22

By Anne Harding

(Reuters Health) – Women undergoing fertility treatment who smoke marijuana may have more success if they quit, recent research suggests.

Marijuana plants are displayed for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Ant

Among more than 400 women undergoing treatment with assisted-reproduction technology (ART), the small fraction who reported using cannabis at the time were more than twice as likely to lose a pregnancy than those who had never smoked marijuana, or who had only used it in the past, Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and his colleagues found.

Unexpectedly, the small fraction of couples in which the man was the only current marijuana user were significantly more likely to have a baby.

But this finding should be seen as showing lack of evidence for harm, rather than as evidence that pot has a positive effect on male fertility, Chavarro and his colleagues conclude in the journal Human Reproduction.

“The bottom line remains that we know way too little about the reproductive health effects of marijuana,” Chavarro said in an email. “The scarcity of information is particularly concerning given the concurrent trends of expanded legalization, increased perception that marijuana poses no health hazards and increased consumption among men and women of reproductive age, including among pregnant women.”

Just three studies have looked at how marijuana smoking by both partners affects fertility, the researchers note. Two of them, in couples trying to conceive naturally, found no effect. The third, in couples using ART, found no effect on pregnancy or live births but did find users had lower egg yields and fertilization rates.

The new study included 421 women who underwent 730 cycles of ART between 2004 and 2017 at a Boston fertility center. Male partners of 200 of the women also enrolled. Forty-four percent of the women and 61% of the men reported ever using marijuana, while 3% of women and 12% of men admitted to being current marijuana smokers.

During the study, 317 women had a positive pregnancy blood test in a total of 395 ART cycles, including nine women (16 cycles) who were marijuana users. Pregnancy loss occurred in 54% of the marijuana smokers and 26% of the non-users.

Among couples in which the male partner was the only current marijuana user (23 couples, 41 cycles), 48% had a baby, versus 29% of couples in which the man was a non-user.

Some animal studies have suggested that activating the endocannabinoid system – naturally occurring signaling molecules that chemically resemble cannabis – at low levels improves testicular function, while higher levels of activation depress it, Chavarro noted.

However, he said, “Most of the human literature to date has been among men on the higher end of use and most show a deleterious effect of marijuana on sperm and testosterone production.”

“The take-home message is still 100% do not use marijuana while pregnant or trying to get pregnant,” said Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola, an assistant professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who wasn’t involved in the study.

While research is scarce on marijuana use and fertility, he said in a phone interview, 30 studies have looked at marijuana and pregnancy, and the body of evidence shows a “signal” that women who use cannabis in pregnancy are at increased risk of having a low birthweight infant, of delivering pre-term and of stillbirth. “When marijuana is used at least weekly, or more than weekly, that’s when the risk starts to get more concerning,” he said.

In June, a practical guide for physicians published in the journal CMAJ summed up existing evidence on marijuana and fertility, echoing some of these warnings (https://bit.ly/2MvmZnw). Overall, men’s use of cannabis once a week or more was linked to a 29% reduction in total sperm count, and women’s use within the past three months was tied to delayed ovulation.

While the evidence does not show that using marijuana affects the ability to conceive for most couples, for those struggling with infertility, marijuana use “could compound their difficulties,” write Dr. Sara Ilnitsky and Dr. Stan Van Uum of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/31X0fjY Human Reproduction, online August 14, 2019.

Leading experts in high-risk pregnancies issue report on reproductive health services

Leading experts in high-risk pregnancies issue report on reproductive health services

Safe reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion, can be lifesaving for some women. However, accessing these services can be a challenge for many women in the United States, particularly low-income women of color. Restrictive state legislation, disparities in access to trained providers, and a lack of evidence-based, standardized guidelines for counseling serve as barriers for women receiving the health services they need.

Among continued efforts to prevent maternal morbidity and mortality, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), hosted a two-day workshop entitled “Reproductive Services for Women at High Risk for Maternal Mortality.” The workshop was held in conjunction with SMFM’s 39th Annual Pregnancy Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada in February 2019 and was co-sponsored by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Fellowship in Family Planning, and Society of Family Planning.

Workshop participants discussed assessment, counseling, and training for providers who care for women with high-risk pregnancies. A summary of the workshop and its recommendations titled, “Executive Summary: Reproductive Services for Women at High Risk for Maternal Mortality Workshop,” has been published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG).

“Access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services, including pregnancy termination, is critical to women’s overall health and saves women’s lives,” said Sean Blackwell, MD, SMFM’s immediate past-president and originator of the workshop. “We hope that this presidential workshop and its summary shine a light on the unique considerations of women who have an increased risk of death during or after pregnancy.”

The executive summary emphasizes the need for a wide range of safe, equitable reproductive health services for women at high risk for maternal death and makes recommendations on how to remove barriers and improve patient care. Family planning interventions, particularly access to safe, timely abortion, have been shown to prevent maternal deaths worldwide. Patient-centered, shared decision-making should be highly valued when counseling women, and more research must be conducted with high-risk women to develop evidence-based solutions for the current maternal mortality crisis.

More in-depth publications on this topic with clinical guidance and future research questions will be published by SMFM at a later date. “We hope our summary of the workshop will inspire future research and prompt further collaboration between maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists, family planningsubspecialists, and obstetrician-gynecologists,” said Blackwell.


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-08-experts-high-risk-pregnancies-issue-reproductive.html

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

Men initiate sex 3 times more often than women in a long-term relationship: Study

2019-05-17

According to a study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, men are three-times more likely to initiate sex as compared to women in a long-term heterosexual relationship.

Men initiate sex more than three times as often as women do in a long-term, heterosexual relationship, says a study.

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https://www.thehealthsite.com/news/men-initiate-sex-3-times-more-often-than-women-in-a-long-term-relationship-study-667011/