Effects of work and life stress on semen quality

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Janevic T et al, Fert Stert 2014, vol 102, p 530-538

Fertility and Sterility

When nearly 200 men were assessed for stress and semen quality, a clear association was apparent between stressful life events and perceived stress and lower sperm count. However work related stress did not have an impact.

This study is included here, since acupuncture is well known for its beneficial impact on perceived stress.

Objective:
To evaluate associations between work-related stress, stressful life events, and perceived stress and semen quality.
Design:
Cross-sectional analysis.
Setting:
Northern California.
Patient(s):
193 men from the Child Health and Development Studies evaluated between 2005 and 2008.
Intervention(s):
None.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Measures of stress including job strain, perceived stress, and stressful life events; outcome measures of
sperm concentration, percentage of motile sperm, and percentage of morphologically normal sperm.
Result(s):
We found an inverse association between perceived stress score and sperm concentration (estimated coefficient b ¼ 0.09 103/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI] ¼ 0.18, 0.01), motility (b ¼ 0.39; 95% CI ¼ 0.79, 0.01), and morphology (b ¼ 0.14; 95% CI, 0.25, 0.04) in covariate-adjusted linear regression analyses. Men who experienced two or more stressful life events in the past
year compared with no stressful events had a lower percentage of motile sperm (b ¼ 8.22; 95% CI, 14.31, 2.13) and a lower percentage of morphologically normal sperm (b ¼ 1.66; 95% CI, 3.35, 0.03) but a similar sperm concentration. Job strain was
not associated with semen parameters.
Conclusion(s):
In this first study to examine all three domains of stress, perceived stress and
stressful life events but not work-related stress were associated with semen quality.