How stress affects sperm health

How Stress Affects Sperm Health

Let’s face it: 2020 boosted anxiety levels for virtually everyone. But stress is a part of life during less difficult times, too. Yet even when we are experiencing stress, its effects can be difficult to measure.

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

Connections Between Stress and Testicular Function

Overall, men with high stress levels showed 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 abuse drugs or alcohol to cope, which makes matters even worse.

While eliminating all stress is not possible, there are common things you can do to reduce anxiety. Some of the most effective ways of controlling stress include getting regular exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or prayer, taking a brisk walk, or spending time with loved ones.

To learn more, see our posts about common causes of low sperm count and tips for reducing stress and improving male fertility. You can also contact one of our client services coordinators at  (602) 888-7255 or if you have other general questions about male fertility or becoming a sperm donor at Phoenix Sperm Bank.