Why Stress May Hurt Your Chances Of Fatherhood

young father and son

Men, you now have one more very important reason to keep calm and carry on. According to a study recently published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, psychological stress may weaken sperm quality and sperm fertility.

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“Men who feel stressed are more likely to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate, and the sperm they have are more likely to be misshapen or have impaired motility,” study researcher Pam Factor-Litvak, Ph.D., an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said in a statement. “These deficits could be associated with fertility problems.”

Researchers studied 193 men ages 38 to 49, who provided semen samples in addition to rating how stressed they felt and stressful life events. Stressors related to work and life were also evaluated.


Findings showed that life stress degraded semen quality, even after other factors like reproductive health history and fertility issues were taken into account.

A link between work stress and semen was not found, however, work-related stress was associated with decreased testosterone according to the study. Decreased testosterone can negatively affect reproductive health.

Men who were unemployed also had lower sperm quality compared to employed men.

READ: 5 Foods That Increase Sperm Count

In addition to managing your stress levels,  managing your weight with diet and exercise will also keep your “swimmers” swimming good.


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