Sperm Quality and Stress in Men

A US study exploring links between sperm quality and stress in men, has found that men who report two or more recent stressful life events are more likely to have reduced sperm quality.

A total of 744 men drawn from prenatal clinics in five US cities, were included in the study. Those reporting two or more stressful life events in the previous three months had an increased risk of being classified below the World Health Organisation’s “normal” thresholds for sperm concentration, motility and morphology, compared with men reporting less than two such events. Concentration and motility were affected more than morphology.

Examples of life events considered relevant were job loss or unemployment (self or partner), serious illness or injury (self or partner), death of a close family member, divorce, separation, and financial problems.

(Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress. Fertility & Sterility, 1 March 2010.)