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Fertil Steril. 2010 Mar 1;93(4):1104-11. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.018. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress.

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  • 1Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

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.

Copyright 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
19243749
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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