July 9, 2014
Stress affects semen quality
According to an American study published in 2014, stress experienced by men was shown to negatively affect their sperm quality.
One hundred and ninety-three healthy men aged between 38 and 49 years volunteered for this study. They were all required to complete three questionnaires evaluating their work-related stress, their perceived stress (subjective) and finally, the stress related to their life events (objective). Moreover, they had to provide 2 semen samples, 2 weeks apart, while being abstinent for 2 to 5 days before each sample. The samples were analyzed based on 3 criteria: sperm motility, morphology and concentration.
The results of this study show that the more men had high levels of perceived stress and experienced increasing stressful life events, the greater their sperm motility, morphology and concentration were negatively affected, indicating a diminution of fertility. However, these results exclude an association between objective stress and sperm concentration. Also, there is no link between work-related stress and semen quality, contrary to what Canoë reported in a recent article, although there is evidence that unemployment can affect semen quality. It would be interesting in future research studies to examine how physiological mechanisms of stress impact semen quality.