Does marijuana affect sperm health?

How Does Marijuana Use Affect Sperm Health?

In November 2020, residents of Arizona voted to approve Proposition 207, which legalized the possession and use of marijuana in the state. New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana passed similar legislation this year, bringing the total number of states where marijuana is legal to 15.

At Phoenix Sperm Bank, we regularly get questions from donors and potential donors about how pot affects sperm count and overall sperm health. And now that it’s legal in Arizona, more men may be wondering the same thing. So we’ve looked at the latest studies and reports to help you better understand the possible connections between marijuana use and sperm health.

Links Between Marijuana and Sperm Count

Although more testing and research is needed to reach conclusive results, enough has been done to confirm that regular marijuana use, defined as more than once a week, does seem to negatively affect overall sperm health and can make men less fertile. Studies have found that heavy use, defined as daily or multiple times per day, does decrease a man’s sperm count, but the evidence for less frequent users is still inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. Some of the key findings include:

  • Enough 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 woman’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 settle the issue yet.

While PSB does not disqualify men who use marijuana from joining our program, it’s important to understand that regular pot use can damage sperm health. This can affect whether you are selected as a sperm donor as well as your personal 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 (602) 888-7255.