More and more researchers are directing their attention towards exploring different factors that may be affecting both male and female fertility. One area that hasn’t been investigated until recently is a relationship between strenuous work, with health and semen parameters in men who are trying to conceive. One such study was published a few days ago on the Fertility and Sterility website.

The study was done at the National Institute of Health and at Stanford University in California. The scientists followed 456 men with the average age of 31.8 years, where more than half of the participants didn’t have children before the study. All the men were in committed relationships and the couples were not using any kind of birth control. The data was collected over the period of a year in order to get reliable data about sperm quality in relation to lifestyle parameters. The research revealed influences by three important lifestyle factors.

Physical labour

Men who were exposed to intense physical labour at their workplaces were twice as likely to have a low sperm count. Speaking in numbers, 13% of men that did hard physical labour had a low sperm count compared to 6% of men that didn’t do hard labour . The study didn’t find with other influences in the work environment such as heat, loud noise, night shifts, vibration or prolonged sitting, having any significant effect on sperm count.

High blood pressure

Men with hypertension had lower quality and less normal shaped spermatozoids.

Multiple medications

The research has also found that using certain medications lowered sperm count. The more medications a man takes, the higher the risk for a lower sperm count. While only 7% of men who take no medications showed a reduced sperm count, the percentage of male participants who were taking two or more medications showed more than double a lower sperm count – at around 15%.

Still, further investigation is needed to determine whether the negative effect on sperm noticed in men using hypertension meds, is coming from the increased blood pressure or from the medications themselves. Also, more research is required to determine what would be the best course of action for men who are trying to conceive.

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