Marijuana During Pregnancy?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am a nurse and my friend asked me a couple questions the other day that I am not sure of the answers. She said that her husband and her just started trying for the first baby and he has never ejaculated inside of her. Since he started doing this, she has had a clear discharge that comes out quite frequently. It is not stringy or does it have an odor. What is this? Is it the remains of ejaculation escaping at a later time? Could it mean she is pregnant?

The other question she asked was that she smoked marijuana once since this discharge started. If she is pregnant, does marijuana cross the placental barrier and what effects can it have on the fetus this early in the pregnancy?

Thank you for your time on these questions.

ANSWER

Either explanation is possible for the discharge. She may be pregnant or it may be the remains of the ejaculate. If she has missed a period, she should definitely take a pregnancy test.

The effects of marijuana on the fetus are not well-documented, but at a minimum are thought to be as damaging as nicotine.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.