Hey Dudes, Weed May Screw Up Your Sperm
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Hey Dudes, Weed May Screw Up Your Sperm


Stoner dudes take note: If you’re planning on starting a family this summer, you may want to think twice about hitting the bong.  A new study out of Oxford has revealed that both summer weather and smoking pot may have adverse effects on the size and shape of sperm—and, by extension, on fertility.

Baked Soldiers

The findings were based on the self-reported lifestyle habits of men at 14 British fertility clinics. Of these participants, 1,652 had so-called “normal” sperm morphology. The other 318—unbeknownst to them when they filled out the survey—had some issues with their little swimmers.

It turned out that most of the lifestyle differences tracked in the study had very little impact on sperm size and shape. Surprisingly, alcohol and cigarette consumption didn’t affect sperm quality. But man batter collected in the summer exhibited double the rate of abnormality, and men under 30 who used cannabis within the three months of, ahem, submitting their samples were more likely to suffer from funky spunk as well.

In Shape and Ready for Battle

In the not-quite-technically-life of a sperm cell, survival of the fittest is the order of the day. And the fittest sperm, scientists believe, are those of relatively normal shape and size. We’re not trying to body-shame any innocent gametes here, but it’s the ones that look like photos in a bio textbook that are most likely to survive the female reproductive tract, which apparently is as brutal as a Hunger Games arena.

Besides drinking and smoking cigs, other factors shown to have no effect on sperm fitness included the men’s body weight, what type of underwear they wore and whether or not they’d had a history of mumps. Good to know fans of the tighty-whities can live without fear of producing crazy-shaped sperm (even if other research indicates wearing briefs might reduce sperm count).

Not The Pill for Males

The researchers acknowledged that a better study would have tracked how many of these men actually went on to conceive a child with their partners. While oddly-shaped sperm is generally a bad thing, it doesn’t constitute instant infertility. In other words, smoking pot should under no circumstances be used as birth control! Unfortunately for ladies who have been left in the lurch by the Hobby Lobby ruling, smoking a bowl with your man is no substitute for the pills your insurance no longer covers. I know it’s a bummer. Best to stick with condoms for now.

So what’s the best way to ensure your next batch of sperm is not deformed? Besides laying off the weed, it might help to abstain from sex for at least six days. Sorry, guys. I know it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. But at least you can feel secure in the underwear of your choice.

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About Author

Erica Larsen AKA Eren Harris blogs at Whitney Calls and Clean Bright Day. Their writing has also been published on Salon, Selfish, Violet Rising and YourTango. They live in Los Angeles with their husband and their enormous cat.