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Epidemiology. 1990 May;1(3):195-200.

Recreational drug use and the risk of primary infertility.

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Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104.


Recreational drug (marijuana, lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD, speed, cocaine, and "other") exposures of women with primary infertility were compared with those of a matched control group of women with proven fertility. Women who reported smoking marijuana had a slightly elevated risk for infertility due to an ovulatory abnormality (RR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.0 to 3.0). The risk was greatest among women who had used marijuana within one year of trying to become pregnant (RR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.1 to 4.0). No consistent frequency or duration of use effects could be demonstrated, and the risk was confined to low-frequency users. Risks associated with the use of other drugs were not elevated. The risk of infertility from a tubal abnormality associated with cocaine use was greatly increased (RR = 11.1, 95% CI = 1.7 to 70.8). Our results are consistent with animal studies suggesting that smoking marijuana may cause a transient disruption of ovulatory function. The possibility that cocaine exposure influences the development of tubal infertility needs further investigation.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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