Couples struggling to conceive are better off not smoking pot: doctor

A doctor who works in a London, Ontario fertility clinic says men and women who smoke pot, and are struggling to conceive, should avoid using the drug until more is known about its possible effects on fertility.

Doctor Sara Ilnitsky says some studies suggest that changes in ovulation patterns and reduced sperm motility are associated with smoking cannabis.

The obstetrician-gynecologist and a co-author outline key points about marijuana and fertility in Monday's publication of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Ilnitsky says a direct measure of the effects of smoking pot is possible with men by testing their semen quality but it's ``extraordinarily difficult'' to gauge the potential impact on women so the best fertility-related data will probably come from men.

She notes that 12-hundred Danish men aged 18 to 25, were recruited for a study in 2015, and the researchers reported a 28 per cent reduction in sperm concentration in the men who used marijuana more than once a week.

Ilnitsky says further studies are needed, especially if Canadians are using pot more frequently since legalization.