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Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress
Fertility and sterility
  • A. L. Gollenberg
  • F. Liu
  • C. Brazil
  • E. Z. Drobnis
  • D. Guzick
  • J. W. Overstreet
  • J. B. Redmon
  • Amy E.T. Sparks, University of Iowa
  • C. Wang
  • S. H. Swan
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date
NLM Title Abbreviation
Fertil Steril
PubMed ID
DOI of Published Version
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.
  • Adult,
  • Cohort Studies,
  • Cross-Sectional Studies,
  • Female,
  • Fertility/physiology,
  • Humans,
  • Male,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Semen Analysis/psychology,
  • Social Behavior,
  • Sperm Motility/physiology,
  • Stress,
  • Psychological/complications/psychology,
  • Young Adult
Published Article/Book Citation
Fertility and sterility, 93:4 (2010) pp.1104-1111.
Citation Information
A. L. Gollenberg, F. Liu, C. Brazil, E. Z. Drobnis, et al.. "Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress" Fertility and sterility Vol. 93 Iss. 4 (2010) p. 1104 - 1111 ISSN: 1556-5653
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