Don’t let stress get to you, it can damage your sperm quality and fertility

Stay calm and avoid stress. A new study says that just two months of stress can damage a man’s sperm and slash his chances of having children.

Do you lead a stressful lifestyle, are the demands of your job leaving you stressed? Then, the chances are your fertility may be affected, especially if you are a man. Latest research conducted by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center in Israel show that just two months of stress may damage a man’s sperm and slash his chances of having children.

What the study shows

The scientists found that men are 47% more likely to have sperm with weak motility if they undergo intense pressure. Low sperm motility makes it less likely for the sperm to fertilize an egg. The findings were derived from 11,000 sperm samples and included those of adults who were exposed to sirens in the Gaza Strip. Though the findings relate to men living in conflict zones, the researchers say it can be applied to any kind of mental stress.

“Mental stress is known to have an adverse effect on fertility, but there is little research on the impact of stress on sperm quality. This study shows that prolonged stress can have an effect on sperm quality,” said Dr. Eliahu Levitas, the study author.

The findings were presented at the International Summit on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics in Tel Aviv.

Here are some of the other factors that can affect sperm motility:

* Researchers at the University of Maryland School found that fathers taking too much stress may affect the brain development of kids. They found that the father’s sperm showed changes in a genetic material known as microRNA. MicroRNA are important because they play a key role in which genes become functional proteins.

* An alarming study result shows that sperm counts in men from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by more than 50% in less than 40 years. The research was done by Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem.

The analysis did not explore reasons for the decline, but researchers said falling sperm counts have previously been linked to various factors such as exposure to certain chemicals and pesticides, smoking, stress, and obesity.

* A study done by researchers from Stanford University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that working in a physically demanding job, having high blood pressure, and taking multiple medications are among the health risks that may undermine a man’s fertility.

“The good news is that these factors if they are confirmed to have negative effects on male fertility, can potentially be modified by medical care or changing job-related behaviors,” said NIH’s Dr. Buck Louis.