Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual performance.
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source: BBC News
Men who smoke marijuana frequently damage their fertility in several different ways, research suggests.
Scientists at Buffalo University found regular smokers had significantly less seminal fluid, and a lower sperm count.
Their sperm were also more likely to swim too fast too early, leading to burn-out before they reach the egg.
Lead researcher Dr Lani Burkman said: "The bottom line is, the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm."
Marijuana contains several chemicals known to have an impact on human physiology, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
The researchers believe that THC may disrupt the way sperm swim, or it may block mechanisms designed to weed out malfunctioning sperm.
Tests have shown that sperm exposed to high levels of THC began to swim in an abnormal fashion, and were less able to attach to an egg so that fertilization could take place.
In the current study, Dr Burkman's team carried out a battery of tests on sperm samples taken from 22 men who had smoked marijuana on average 14 times a week for at least five years.
In particular, the scientists assessed the sperm to see when they began to swim in a very vigorous fashion.
It is vital that a sperm begins to swimming vigorously as it approaches the egg to improve its changes of successful fertilization. However, if it begins to swim too fast too soon its changes of reaching the egg are significantly reduced.
Dr Burkman said: "The sperm from marijuana smokers were moving too fast too early.
"The timing was all wrong. These sperm will experience burnout before they reach the egg and would not be capable of fertilization."
Dr Burkman conceded that many men who smoke marijuana have fathered children.
However, she said that smoking the drug may tip the balance against men whose fertility was borderline to start with.
"THC from marijuana may push them over the edge into infertility."
Dr Burkman said it was unclear whether fertility would recover after men stopped smoking marijuana.
But she warned that THC remained stored in fat for a long period.
"We can't say that everything will go back to normal.
"I definitely would advise anyone trying to conceive not to smoke marijuana, and that would include women as well as men."
Professor Alison Murdoch, chair of the British Fertility Society, told BBC News Online the results were not surprising as marijuana was a potent drug which was likely to have an effect on many systems in the body.
However, she said many other factors, such as diet, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and exercise also had an impact on fertility.
"Male fertility is quite complicated. The partners of men with low sperm counts can sometimes achieve pregnancy, and it is only when men produce very, very small amounts of sperm that they can be considered infertile."
Details of the study were presented to a meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in San Antonio.
Owner, LifeCell Dx
Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction
There are many opinions concerning the influence of marijuana on sex drive and men’s impotence. Some people insist that cannabis is a dangerous drug that can badly affect your sex life, both physically and mentally. Others are convinced that smoking marijuana doesn’t have any severe consequences or side effects.
What is the truth? Does this drug really cause Erectile Dysfunction? How can you maintain a healthy sex life? Is there any useful advice for heavy marijuana users? Take a look at the facts.
Research has shown that marijuana can damage male sperm. According to the report made by Buffalo University scientists, men who smoke weed have much less seminal fluid than those who don’t use the drug.
Researchers suggest that marijuana affects the sperm in a way that lowers the count, possibly by causing them to swim too fast and burning out before reaching the egg. It is known that marijuana contains different chemicals that can affect human physiology. This drug contains tetrahydrocannabinol or THC as an active ingredient that can disrupt the proper function of sperm.
Men’s sperm contain receptors which can be stimulated by THC. Tests have revealed that sperm influenced by smoking marijuana swim in a strange fashion. They are, therefore, less able to attach to the egg.
More than 20 men who had used cannabis twice a day for at least 5 years in a row participated in the research. Their sperm samples were tested. It turned out that the sperm in these participants swam too fast which reduced the chances of sperm reaching the ovule.
A permanent use of marijuana can burnout your sperm before it reaches the egg. As a result, the capability of men’s sperm to fertilize eggs properly may be highly affected.
In reality, there are many men who have become fathers even though they have been smoking marijuana for a long period of time. Aaron (42 years old) says, “I enjoy ganja. It has helped me to relax after my hard working days for more than 15 years. I feel great today. I have fathered a child. I don’t have any serious illnesses”.
Of course, Aaron’s story isn’t the same for all men.
“I stopped smoking weed because I faced some severe side effects. It affected my lungs, I kept coughing all the time and didn’t enjoy sex until my best friend suggested I should quit. I also know that pot and other cannabis-related drugs can compromise your ability to remember things, focus and shift attention”, Joe (25 years old) says. “Even a small dose of marijuana can impair your ability to recall words you have read 20 minutes earlier”.
In Joe’s case, Erectile Dysfunction was not the problem. His passion for sex returned as soon as he quit smoking pot. As such testimonies reveal, the affects of marijuana on sexual performance can vary.
It is unclear whether or not you can recover a fertile state after you stop taking cannabis. THC can be stored in human fat for a long period, so if your sex motivation disappears, it might not return to normal.
Scientists and doctors advise men not to smoke pot. The same advice concerns women because marijuana can affect a variety of bodily functions leading to horrible consequences.
Usually, Erectile Dysfunction happens to heavy cannabis users. Women can experience irregular periods when they smoke marijuana too often. At the same time, pot smokers can suffer from a lack of motivation, ED episodes, absence of sex drive, hormonal changes, aggressiveness and other physical and mental side effects.
Men who like smoking pot might be sexually active, but in bed they can experience fearfulness and anxiety. Marijuana can impair your coordination the way alcohol does. If you don’t want to look “stupid” in front of your woman, don’t smoke weed. Keep in mind that sex requires a lot of coordination and a clear mind.
Maybe cannabis won’t influence your sexual relations much. If so, you are a lucky smoker! But what if it does? What if marijuana ruins your sexual life? What if it does affect your reproductive health? Will you continue smoking pot or will you find other ways to relax? The decision is strictly up to you!
Social Side Effects of Marijuana
Cannabis Use May Worsen Sexual Dysfunction, Rat Study Suggests
source: Science Daily
Rany Shamloul's recent review of the medical literature on cannabis use and sexual health has revealed that cannabis use may negatively impact male sexual performance.
"Cannabis is the most widely-used illicit drug globally," says Dr. Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. "It is also often used by young, sexually active people who are unaware of the hazardous effects it may be having on their sexual health and performance."
Recent animal and in vitro studies have identified new negative connections between cannabis use and sexual dysfunction that may put an end to previous controversy.
While it was previously known that cannabis could affect certain receptors in the brain, it's now believed that these receptors also exist in the penis. Cannabis use may have an antagonizing effect on these receptors in the penis, making it more difficult for a man to achieve and maintain an erection.
"These findings will change the current understanding of the magnitude of the impact of cannabis use on sexual health," says Dr. Shamloul.
Previous studies examining the effects of cannabis use on male sexual function have been limited and many of these studies have produced contradictory results. While some studies have indicated cannabis could have beneficial effects in enhancing erectile function, other studies have found the opposite.
Dr. Shamloul's research will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
SOURCE; Sex Health Matters Sexual Medicine Society of North America, Inc.
Men who use marijuana may be more likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED), according to research published in the January 26, 2011 online edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Rany Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University in Canada, conducted a literature review to learn more about how marijuana affects a man’s sexual health in the short term.
Erectile dysfunction is a man’s inability to achieve an erection suitable for satisfying sex.
The link between marijuana and ED involves tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
When THC reaches the brain, it interacts with proteins called cannabinoid receptors. This interaction triggers cellular reactions that make a person feel “high” and interfere with normal functioning.
It appears that THC might affect the penis the same way.
In his research, Dr. Shamloul examined a 2010 study in the journal European Urology. This study reported that there were cannabinoid receptors in the penises of five men and six rhesus monkeys. Most of the receptors were found in the smooth muscle of the penis. It appeared that THC impaired the smooth muscle’s normal function.
This finding suggests that marijuana use could affect a man’s ability to have an erection, since the human penis is 70% to 80% smooth muscle.
The results could have implications for women as well.
“The erectile tissue in the penis is similar to the tissue in the clitoris in that they both have cannabinoid receptors, so cannabis use could, in theory, affect a female’s ability to become sexually aroused as well,” Dr. Shamloul told The Queen’s Journal, the student newspaper of Queen’s University.
In spite of these findings, studies on marijuana and sexual function have had mixed results overall. Some studies show positive results; others are negative. Also, Dr. Shamloul noted that additional research would be helpful, especially to see how marijuana use affects sexual health in the long term.
“What we are really missing are clinical studies,” he told LiveScience. “We are stuck with only animal studies and molecular studies, and some clinical studies done in the ‘60s and ‘70s, most on a very small number of men….We need well-designed, placebo-control studies examining marijuana’s effect in both the short-term and long-term.”
Doctor Rany Mohamed Mahmoud Shamloul
Postgraduate Medical Education
University of Ottawa
451 Smyth Road, Room 2044