Though 2020 has boosted anxiety levels for virtually everyone, stress is a part of life during less trying times, too. Yet even when we are experiencing it, the effects of stress can be difficult to measure.
Recently, a study co-sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Health set out to quantify the effects of psychological stress on male fertility specifically. The purpose of the study was to find any possible connections between stress and testicular function among a group of 1,362 men with a median age of 19. The study included semen and blood samples as well as a questionnaire that helped determine each man’s stress levels and lifestyle factors.
Connections Between Stress and Testicular Function
Overall, men who experienced the highest levels of stress showed lower sperm count, decreased quality, and lower motility, which is the sperm’s ability to move so it can locate and fertilize a woman’s egg. Stress can also release chemicals in the body that have been proven to damage cell structures, including sperm cells. In addition, when under stress, people sometimes drink too much alcohol or pick up other bad habits to cope, which can make matters even worse.
While eliminating stress is not an option, there are common things you can do to reduce anxiety and improve male fertility. Some of the most effective ways of controlling stress include getting regular exercise, deep breathing, meditation, or prayer, taking a brisk walk, or spending time with loved ones.