How stress affects sperm health

How Stress Affects Sperm Health

Though 2020 has raised anxiety levels for nearly everyone, stress is still a part of life during less trying times, too. Yet even when we are experiencing it, the effects of stress can be difficult to measure.

A recent study co-sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Health set out to quantify the effects of psychological stress on male fertility in particular. The purpose of the study was to discover possible connections between stress and testicular function among a group of 1,362 young men with the median age of 19. The study included semen and blood samples as well as a detailed questionnaire to determine each man’s stress levels and lifestyle factors.

Connections Between Stress and Male Fertility

Overall, men who experienced high levels of stress had lower sperm count, decreased sperm quality, and lower motility, which is the sperm’s ability to move so it can locate and fertilize a woman’s egg. Stress also releases chemicals in the body that have been proven to damage cell structures, including sperm cells. In addition, when under stress, people sometimes drink too much alcohol or use other drugs to cope with it, which can have negative consequences of their own.

While completely removing stress from your life is not an option, there are things you can do to reduce anxiety and improve male fertility. Ways of controlling stress include getting regular aerobic exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or prayer, taking a brisk walk, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in a hobby you enjoy.

To learn more, read about some lifestyle factors that affect your fertility as well as tips for reducing stress and improving male fertility. You can also contact one of our client services coordinators at [email protected] or (858) 732-8500 if you have other general questions about male fertility or about becoming a sperm donor at San Diego Sperm Bank.