Stress has become synonymous with modern life. Rising work pressures, financial strain and family tensions can affect your appetite, sleep, and overall enjoyment of life. However, psychological stress can also impair semen quality.

In this article we will look at the link between stress and male infertility, with tips to help you optimize semen quality to facilitate your journey to conception.

Male sub-fertility is established in around half of couples who are unable to conceive. In 2018, scientists in Italy confirmed that lifestyle stressors can reduce both the production of sperm and the quality of semen produced. Stress can therefore negatively impact male fertility.

Although exposure to extreme events such as environmental disasters or war could lead to a stress-induced decline in fertility, chronic ‘everyday’ stress such as occupational or social strains were found to be just as relevant. Testicular function becomes impaired as stress hormone levels rise, and the researchers found that both acute and chronic stress can impair fertility.

Reassuringly, they concluded that psychological support could aid stress reduction, thereby reversing stress-related infertility to “optimize [the] chances of conception.” Stress-management is therefore recommended for couples who are trying to conceive.

Manage Stress to Improve Fertility

Alongside everyday pressures, couple infertility is another recognized cause of stress. When conception does not occur, a vicious cycle of anxiety and worsening semen quality can sadly begin. A report in 2020 highlighted the need for coping strategies and counseling intervention for both men and women concerned about fertility.

If you are looking to manage the sources of anxiety in your life, we’ve put together this handy list of stress-busting healthier habits that could also improve your semen quality.

Get active

The Italian study in 2018 recommended men regularly undertake moderate physical activity. Exercise has long been known to improve the mood and reduce anxiety.

There’s no need to go fitness crazy. Going out for a brisk walk, jog or a swim a few times a week is plenty. While physical activity is important, it is advisable to avoid exercise that could cause trauma to testicles, such as cycling or martial arts.

Practice relaxation exercises

Stretching, breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness can all help to mitigate perceived stress. Schedule time for relaxation each day to avoid emotional exhaustion; your body and mind deserve a break!

Get enough sleep

Burning the candle at both ends can make stress and anxiety worse. Try not to catch up on work or complete chores late into the evening. These jobs can wait! Instead, prioritize sleep by setting, and sticking to, a reasonable bedtime.

Access support

Psychological support includes counseling, CBT, and other talking therapies. Modern life is stressful, and worrying about your fertility can compound this. Speak to a specialist who can help you develop strategies to cope with stress.

Utilize YO Fertility Home Testing

It has long been acknowledged that producing a semen sample during fertility treatment causes male psychological distress. This could reduce semen quality when sperm is most needed. You may feel more relaxed using a Yo Home Sperm Test to assess and track your semen quality, without medical intervention or ‘pressure to ’.

Final Thoughts

When trying to conceive, it’s essential to recognize external pressures that could be affecting sperm production. Reducing stress may help to improve semen quality, giving your fertility journey the best chance of success.

Track semen quality in the privacy of your home with a Yo Home Sperm Test.