Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress
NLM Title Abbreviation
Fertility and sterility
DOI of Published Version
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between stressful life events and semen parameters. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis in a pregnancy cohort study. SETTING: Prenatal clinics in five U.S. cities. PATIENT(S): Fertile men (n = 744) in the Study for Future Families, a cohort study of pregnant women and their partners. INTERVENTION(S): None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Sperm concentration, percent motile, and percent normal morphology and classification above/below World Health Organization (WHO) cutoffs for semen quality. RESULT(S): After adjusting for confounders, men reporting 2+ recent stressful life events had an increased risk of being classified below WHO thresholds for "normal" defined by concentration, motility, and morphology criteria compared with men reporting <2 stressful life events (odds ratio [OR] = 2.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18, 3.61; OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.04, 2.29; OR = 1.93; 95% CI, 1.02, 3.66 for concentration, motility and morphology, respectively). Men experiencing 2+ stressful life events had lower sperm concentration (log scale, beta = -0.25; 95% CI, -0.38, -0.11) and lower percent motile sperm (beta = -1.95; 95% CI, -3.98, 0.07), but percent normal morphology was less affected. CONCLUSION(S): These results suggest that stressful life events may be associated with decreased semen quality in fertile men. The experience of psychosocial stress may be a modifiable factor in the development of idiopathic infertility.
Adult, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Fertility/physiology, Humans, Male, Pregnancy, Semen Analysis/psychology, Social Behavior, Sperm Motility/physiology, Stress, Psychological/complications/psychology, Young Adult
Published Article/Book Citation
Fertility and sterility, 93:4 (2010) pp.1104-1111.