Large study on sperm gives ok to alcohol and tobacco, not so much to cannabis. #malefertility


A report out in Human Reproduction by Pacey and colleagues analyzed the impact of lifestyle factors of 2,249 men on their sperm quality (specifically sperm morphology). While most lifestyle choices had little impact on sperm quality (examples: BMI, underwear preference, alcohol, cigarettes), smoking cannabis did significantly impact sperm quality. Two other factors also affected sperm quality, the season and abstinence. The results of this study contradict previous studies and historically held beliefs, including underwear choice, alcohol, and tobacco use. This study has the advantage of being large, and uniformity in analyzing sperm quality. However, it also only looked at sperm morphology as a measure of sperm quality. It is entirely possible that some of the lifestyle choices could negatively impact other aspects of sperm quality or semen quality.

Only three factors were independently related to case status after adjustment for clustering within centre: men who produced their sample in summer (June to August) and younger men who used cannabis in the 3 months prior to sample collection were more likely to have sperm morphology <4% normal.

This suggests that an individual’s lifestyle has very little impact on sperm morphology and that delaying assisted conception to make changes to lifestyle is unlikely to enhance conception.


News article summarizing study by Jenny Hope here.

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