Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jun 2014
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Copyright: 2014 The Scotsman Publications Ltd
Author: John Von Radowitz
Page: 15


SMOKING cannabis can reduce a man's fertility by altering the size 
and shape of his sperm, research shows.

More surprisingly, sex in the summer months has a similar effect, 
scientists found.

Conversely, abstaining from sexual activity for more than six days 
improved the "morphology" of sperm.

However, common lifestyle factors including smoking cigarettes and 
drinking alcohol had little effect on sperm quality.

When less than 4 per cent of a man's sperm has a normal size and 
shape, statistics show he will find it harder to father a child and 
may have to attend an IVF clinic.

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at Sheffield University, 
said: "If you're trying to have a baby, pay attention to the risks. 
If you're a habitual cannabis user, stop, and you need to stop for at 
least three months."

The study, the world's largest investigating the effects of lifestyle 
on sperm morphology, recruited 2,249 men from 14 fertility clinics 
around the UK.

Scientists compared information from 318 men with less than 4 per 
cent normal sperm and 1,652 whose sperm was higher quality. Men in 
the first group were nearly twice as likely to have used cannabis in 
the three months before giving a sample, if they were aged under 30.

They were also nearly twice as likely to have produced a sample from 
June to August.

Dr Pacey said the summer influence was unexplained but did not appear 
to be linked to heat.
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