Author: Dr. V Ramya, Consultant & Fertility Specialist

Male infertility is quite common and an equally stigmatic issue when it comes to societal norms. Men may find it difficult to address fertility issues due to the social stigma associated with it. This lack of addressing the issue leads to lowered self-confidence, psychological stress, and anxiety. Along with many other lifestyle-related factors that cause fertility issues among men, stress is also cited as one of the reasons for male infertility.

What is the connection between stress and male infertility?

Stress is a prominent part of our life. There could be personal, professional, economic, and emotional factors that could trigger stress. But male infertility and stress are sort of interrelated. To explain it further, stress due to other factors could lead to fertility issues in men or one could be feeling stressed due to fertility issues. Not being able to conceive, inability to achieve an orgasm, failed treatments for fertility issues, etc. could cause stress and affect male fertility.

Although the connection between stress and male infertility is not fully established yet, it is important to understand that the link between stress and male infertility has multiple facets. The hormones that are released in the body due to stress affect semen quality.

Also, the signs and symptoms of chronic stress are the risk factors that lead to fertility issues in men. The mechanism by which the body copes with stress impacts testosterone levels and affects sperm production and sperm quality.

Effect of stress on the body:

The human body under stress produces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which puts your body in “fight or flight” mode. Simultaneously the body also tries to cope with stress and tries to calm your nervous system. This process consumes a lot of energy leaving you emotionally and physically drained.

Signs or symptoms of stress:

Signs of stress manifest differently in different people. A few signs include:

· Fatigue

· Disturbances in sleep patterns

· High blood pressure

· Depression

· Irregular eating habits (stress eating)

· Weight issues – weight gain or weight loss

· Heart diseases

· Physical pain

· Reduced libido

· Consumption of alcohol or smoking to relax

Signs of Stress

Effects of stress on male fertility:

High levels of stress or chronic stress are connected to:

· Low semen volume

· Reduced sperm count

· Low semen quality

· Abnormal sperm morphology

· Low testosterone levels

· Low libido

· Disorders such as ejaculation issues and erectile dysfunction

How to cope with stress?

1. Take time for exercise: Exercise is a good way to take your mind off things and a little exercising does some good for overall health as well.

2. Avoid caffeine: Caffeine is known to increase anxiety and keeps your nervous system on alert mode. For de-stressing your body needs to go into calm and rest mode. So avoid caffeine or opt for de-caffeinated beverages.

3. Sleep well: It is said that a good night’s sleep is the key for good health. Get a minimum of 6-8 hours of good sleep.

4. Avoid triggers that induce stress: Work on what triggers your stress response. Take your time to process or address it.

5. Consult a psychiatrist: Get an expert opinion if you think you are not able to handle things on your own. Don’t consume any calming medications without a doctor’s prescription.


Although stress is an unavoidable part of our lives and lifestyles, it is essential to find realistic ways to manage stress. Unaddressed chronic stress could have a detrimental effect on the quality of life. Do not worry, male infertility caused due to stress can be treated and reversed. Consult with our Andrologists to get expert opinion on how to treat male infertility caused due to stress. Book your appointment today.

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