Psychological stress can affect us on levels beyond our mental health, wreaking havoc on our stomachs, heart health, but sperm? According to a study in the reproductive medicine journal “Fertility & Sterility”, stress can degrade both sperm quality & overall male fertility.
A recent study published by Pam Factor-Litvak in the journal, Fertility and Sterility, suggests that men who feel stressed have fewer and slower sperm. The study includes 193 men, aged 38-49, who rate how stressed they felt in various life situations. The study found that life stress degraded the quality of semen possibly by lowering levels of testosterone, and, the men who were more stressed out has lower concentrations of sperm and more malformed sperm with more motility issues (the sperm swam more slowly, making it harder to get to the egg, and showing that the DNA inside of it may not be top notch).
This study, as well as others, reinforces the importance of stress management during fertility attempts. If you are experiencing stress while you are TTC (trying to conceive) you need to consider decreasing your stress through the quickest and easiest routes available. Consult with your pre-conception care fertility provider (life your fertility coach, fertility acupuncturist or OB/GYN) or talk with your RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) about what ways you can reduce stress, like meditation or breathing exercises, fertility acupuncture, fertility yoga, talk therapy and nutritional changes.