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Deleterious Effects Described in Obese Women Undergoing IVF

Impact of Bodyweight and Lifestyle on IVF Outcome: Marijuana



In a 2003 study carried out in the USA, lifetime use, past year use and past month consumption of marijuana was reported to be 40, 10 and 6% of people over the age of 12 years, respectively.[168,193] There is no agreement in the current literature on the relationship between marijuana and infertility, according to studies performed in humans.

The authors of the aforementioned studies of the effects of male and female alcohol and caffeine intake on IVF and GIFT outcomes, and presumably with the same study population (221 couples), performed the only study to date regarding the effects of marijuana use in ART.[184] They concluded that heavy marijuana use and timing of smoking adversely affected IVF/GIFT outcomes. Women who had smoked more than 90-times in their lifetime had 27% fewer oocytes retrieved (p = 0.03) and one less embryo transferred (p < 0.05). Women who had smoked more than ten times in their lifetime gave birth to infants that were 17% (p = 0.01) smaller at birth. If men had smoked marijuana 11 to 90 and over 90 times in his lifetime, the decrease in infant birthweight was 15% (p = 0.03) and 23% (p = 0.01), respectively. Moreover, women that smoked marijuana 1 year before the ART had 25% fewer oocytes retrieved (p = 0.03), whereas smoking couples had 28% (p = 0.04) fewer oocytes fertilized. Women and men who had smoked in the previous 15 years, had 12% (p = 0.04) and 16% (p = 0.03) smaller infants, respectively.

The small sample size of this study and the different biases associated with the serial self-reported questionnaires employed, make the conclusions of the study doubtful. In addition, it is difficult to distinguish the theoretical deleterious effect of marijuana on ART outcome from that of the tobacco consumption. Finally, marijuana intake, as well as other illicit drugs, is likely to be under-reported by the patients. The only objective measurements of marijuana consumption are those of derivatives in blood or urine.

Although there is a lack of reliable studies on ART, marijuana consumption has been related to alterations in gametogenesis, implantation and early pregnancy,[185] and to abnormal neurobehavioral development in children exposed to this drug during pregnancy.[186] Based on this evidence, any women wishing to become pregnant should be advised to abstain from marijuana use, regardless of the way of conception.

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