Recent studies suggest stress can reduce sperm and semen quality, which could have an adverse impact on male fertility. Stress used here is mostly psychological stress. Psychological stress is an irritable, uncomfortable emotional experience usually accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes. Severe stress has been shown to affect spermatogenesis, mainly as a result of varying testosterone secretion. 

Sperm abnormalities like low sperm count or immobile sperm are the main causes of male infertility. Other medical conditions like undescended testicles or ejaculation problems can cause sperm abnormalities, as well as health and lifestyle factors. Psychological stress can affect sperm health and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize an egg. It may also trigger the release of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which could disrupt testosterone levels and sperm production. 

Also, read fact vs myth about ejaculation and prostate health

Even though, the research linking stress and sperm quality isn’t quite conclusive. Stress-relieving activities are important to ensure optimum health. These activities include:

  • Daily romantic intimacy with your partner: holding hands, kissing and having sex has been found to lower the level of the stress hormone cortisol. According to past research in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Read Top Baby-Making Mistakes Couples Make While Trying To Have A Baby
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercising improves overall health and helps burn off pent-up tension.
  • Eat and sleep well: get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night, to help your body recover from the day’s work and stress and be better prepared to deal with the new day. 
  • Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants that might promote stress and sleeplessness. 
  • Meditate: Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day in peaceful contemplation. You might like to devote the time to meditation or prayer, or practising yoga. Breathe deeply and clear your mind.
  • Solve the cause of your stress if you can: identifying and confronting the problems that cause you to become stressed out can relieve you of that stress. Inaction merely allows it to build and continue the cycle. Accept things you can‘t change. There are going to be things in your life that you can‘t control, no matter how hard you try. 
  • Don’t take on more than you can handle especially at work: don’t overpromise and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Celebrate your victories: treat yourself when you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project. Don’t be scared to do something nice for yourself every once in the while before taking on other concerns. Celebrate your achievement before you jump into the next project.
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