Do not take undue stress in life and enjoy better quality, fertile sperm to maximize your chances.
Psychological stress is harmful to sperm and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilise an egg, a significant study says.
“Men who feel stressed are more likely to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate. The sperm they have are more likely to be misshapen or have impaired motility,” explained Pam Factor-Litvak, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman school of public health.
Stress may trigger the release of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which could blunt levels of testosterone and sperm production.
Another possibility is oxidative stress that has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility.
“Stress has long been identified as having an influence on health. Our research suggests that men’s reproductive health may also be affected by their social environment,” added Teresa Janevic, an assistant professor at Rutgers University’s school of public health.
To understand this, researchers studied 193 men, ages 38 to 49, enrolled in the study of the environment and reproduction at the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Oakland, California, between 2005 and 2008.
The men completed tests to measure work and life stress on subjective scale (how they felt overall) and objective scale (life events behind the stress).
Measured subjectively or objectively, life stress degraded semen quality.
Workplace stress was not a factor, however the researchers say it may still affect reproductive health since men with job strain had diminished levels of testosterone.
Unemployed men had sperm of lower quality than employed men regardless of how stressed they were, said the study published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility.