Stress impairs semen quality

Being subjected to stress impairs semen quality and alters the concentration and appearance of sperm and their ability to fertilize the egg, so it can be associated with fertility problems.

Being subjected to stress impairs semen quality and affects the concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize the sperm egg , according to results of a study conducted by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Rutgers School of Public Health (USA), and have been published in Fertility and Sterility .

The study involved 193 men aged 38 to 49 who provided semen samples for study and performed tests assessing their work and stress on a subjective scale (how they felt) and (vital events responsible for stress).

Using standard methods used in fertility tests to check the sperm concentration in samples, as well as their appearance and mobility, the researchers observed that the stress related to the personal life of these men deteriorated the quality of their semen.

However, stress at work could also affect reproductive ability, as it was found that testosterone levels in men under stress had declined.

As explained by Pam Factor-Litvak, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health , and the lead author of the paper, men who are more stressed tend to have a lower concentration of sperm in the seminal fluid, and these are more prone to mobility difficulties or being deformed, which may be associated with fertility problems.

These experts, however, fail to understand the mechanism by which stress alters the quality of semen, although they raise the hypothesis that it could trigger the release of steroid hormones -glucocorticoids-, which in turn would affect testosterone levels and the production of sperm.

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