Effects of work and life stress on semen quality

Janevic T et al, Fert Stert 2014, vol 102, p 530-8

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.

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.