Does marijuana affect sperm health

How Does Marijuana Use Affect Sperm Health?

This November, residents of Arizona approved Proposition 207, which legalized the possession and use of marijuana. Similar laws passed in New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana in 2020. To date, marijuana is legal in 15 states, including Washington.

At Seattle Sperm Bank, we get questions from potential donors about marijuana’s effects on overall sperm health. To help you better understand the possible connections between marijuana use and sperm health, keep up on the latest research in this area.

Links Between Marijuana and Sperm Count

Certainly, more testing and research is needed on the subject, but enough has been done to confirm that regular marijuana use, or more than once a week, does seem to negatively affect overall sperm health. It can also make men less fertile. Research has also shown that heavy use, which is defined as using it daily or multiple times per day, does decrease a man’s sperm count. However, the evidence for less frequent users is still inconclusive and often contradictory. Some of the primary findings include:

  • Significant evidence exists to suggest a negative connection between marijuana use and sperm health. This includes sperm motility, or its ability to move, which affects how well a sperm cell can reach and fertilize a women’s egg. While more research is needed, many compounds found within marijuana, including Tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), is known to damage sperm cells.
  • A majority of fertility experts advise men not to use marijuana if they are trying to conceive a child with their spouse or partner.
  • One study found that men who smoked marijuana had significantly higher sperm concentrations over men who had never smoked.           
  • There may also be a potential connection between marijuana use and erectile dysfunction, though not enough evidence exists to definitely settle the issue.

While Seattle Sperm Donor does not disqualify men who use marijuana from joining our program, it’s important to understand that regular marijuana use can damage sperm health. This can affect whether you are selected as a sperm donor as well as your future plans for starting a family of your own.

To learn about ways to improve your sperm count and overall quality, or to ask other questions about joining our program, please contact one of our experts at or (206) 588-1484.