Stressed man thinking

Stressed men have fewer sperm, study finds

Psychological stress may result in fewer and slower sperm, according to a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The study found that men who feel stressed are more likely to have lower concentrations of sperm, and that sperm can be being misshapen or slow. Both are characteristics that often result in fertility issues.

Researchers studied 193 men ages 38 to 49, who rated how stressed they felt and shared the life events that led to said stress. It was determined that life stress degraded the quality of semen even when the scientists accounted for other factors, such as health concerns or previous issues with fertility. 

"The data on stress and detrimental effects on sperm quality are interesting," said Dr. Jeffery Boldt, fertility specialist at Community Health Network. "It is estimated that about 40 percent of infertile couples have a male factor as a sole or contributing cause, and many times we cannot uncover a specific cause in males."

While scientists are not exactly sure how emotional strain affects semen, this study adds to extensive research examining the many ways emotional stress can take a toll on the body.

"This study reinforces our advice to men that a balanced lifestyle is not only good for their general health, but may also help them with fertility issues," said Boldt. 

Infertile? Community can help.

Community Fertility Specialists is a comprehensive fertility treatment center in Indianapolis that provides the full spectrum of female and male fertility (andrology) options. Call 317-621-0600 to schedule an appointment.

Source: Time