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Stress and Male Fertility

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

We always hear that stress shows up in every part of your body.

That's true for a male too, even if they are masters at masking their mental tension, a man's swimmers will likely take a hit when he is stressed! But then, nowadays, how can someone not be stressed? If they are not then they are not modern and not going with the flow!! Sounds funny but, sadly, realistic and true!

Let’s look at some facts related to male fertility and stress:

Stressed-out men tend to have a lower concentration of sperm, more abnormally shaped swimmers, and a smaller percentage of sperm that are motile (ie, active). Stress might influence the hormones needed to produce healthy sperm and it may also damage the cells that produce them. Another theory says that excessive anxiety may increase the levels of reactive oxygen species in semen, leading to oxidative stress, which has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility.

Stress can also put a dampener on his sex life. If a male partner is feeling under pressure, he's less likely to have the mental and physical energy to perform in bed when his partner is planning and ready to make a baby.

A man's mood may play a role in the production of sperm. The theory is that in response to stress, the body reserves its resources for vital functions. A man's body won't waste energy in making sperm at a time of stress, as it is a non-essential bodily function.

To sum up, unfortunately, if a man is suffering from stress, it can reduce the quality of his semen in total.

Let’s have a look for some simple solutions:

One of the best things you can do for your relationship, and for your stress, is to keep in mind what can be so good about sex. It's fun, pleasurable, and can bring the two of you closer together. Don’t just have sex to have kids; have it with mental love and connection and most of the time (if you don’t have any medical issues) it works! Take a holiday, if both of you are mentally disconnected and lost, to prove yourselves in this high-tech, multi-tasking modern era.

Talk to your partner about the reasons for your stress. Then look for ways to ease it. Try to fit in activities that you enjoy and that help you to relax.  Stress management through yoga, meditation or counseling can help.

Try to think positively and understand that challenges in life are normal and expected. Let go of the need for control. We can't control everything. Slow down!! Try and focus on one thing at a time, this you need to specially focus on when you feel your stress levels is rising. Stay active, maintain healthy friendships, and don’t forget to make time for fun activities. Don't keep your problems bottled up inside. It can be really helpful to talk about your feelings with a friend, partner, or mental health professional. It may be impossible to eliminate stress entirely from your life, but you can learn to manage your stressors as they arise.

Eating healthily, exercising, reducing alcohol and smoking and meditation-type relaxations can all help to reduce stress. Consider yoga, acupuncture, massage, and other mind-body therapies to help you relax.

And again to sum up -try to be mentally happy and positive and spread that positive energy around :) Swimmers will be happy and relaxed and will perform better!

By Dr. Varsha Anand

Specialist OB/GYN