I am wondering how cannabis affects my reproductive health. I only vape or ingest, but I do so regularly and am wondering if this has an effect on my eggs/fertility? Also, is it safe to ingest or vape while breastfeeding?
While vaping and ingesting cannabis will avoid the particulate and pollutant effects of smoking, cannabis does and will affect your reproductive health. Cannabis alters blood sugar and metabolism, and can be an underlying factor in yeast infections, particularly if chronic (cannabis use or yeast). Cannabis also has a significant effect on energy levels and libido, and many women anecdotally describe being able to come very close to orgasm, but unable to fully climax when under the influence. Cannabis also blunts some emotions, while enhancing others, which can blur boundaries in intimate and sexual relationships not just emotionally, but also physically. Luteinizing hormone, one of the important drivers of ovulation, in addition to sperm motility, are both compromised by cannabis use, and receptors for cannabinoid compounds are found in semen, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and placenta. Because anandamides, the body‘s natural “endocannabinoids,” interact with reproductive hormones in radically different ratios during different phases of ovulation and implantation, ingesting or vaping cannabis could easily have unpredictable effects on fertility. It could enhance ovulation, for example, but could delay or interfere with implantation, on the other. The effects of cannabis on fetal brain, neurological, and behavioral development remains controversial, yet the known alterations in neurotransmitter profiles and emotional development in adult and teen cannabis users suggests that any significant cannabis exposure in utero could alter brain development. Ingesting cannabis in any form during breastfeeding is not recommended. There is enough evidence of altered physiological rhythms and motor movements in babies who are exposed, plus cannabis can easily cloud the fine-tuned, sensitive relationship between mother and baby adrenal glands (so can many other things, like looking at your phone while breastfeeding). Cannabis is also very drying to the liver, which metabolizes and calibrates our hormones, and is dampening emotionally. To round out a sense of perspective on this, my husband survived pediatric brain cancer with the use of medical marijuana, and I practice holistic gynecology within the office of a fertility clinic where do prescribe medical marijuana to qualified patients in New York State, none of whom are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Dr. Eden Fromberg
Dr. Fromberg (@dredenfromberg) is a Board Certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist who is also Board Certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine.
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