Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, September 2, 1999 Published at 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK


Health

Bottling it up could reduce fertility

Sperm production could be affected by stress levels

Men who cannot express their emotions could find it harder to father children, according to psychological research.

A study, presented at a British Psychological Society conference in Leeds, compared 25 men with fertility problems with 25 with none.

It suggested that "new men", who find it easier to talk about their feelings, could be more likely to be fertile.

Although the 25 fertile men reported more stress-causing incidents day to day over a two-week period, they were far more likely to talk about them.

The report's author, psychologist Keith Hurst, said that bottling up stressful events was far more likely to lead to higher stress level overall.

And increased stress could well lead to reductions in the body's ability to cause stress, he said.

He said: "There is a wealth of psychological literature saying that it tends to be the day to day things that have an impact on our psychological wellbeing and physical health."

Traffic jam reactions

"These are the straws that break the camel's back", he said.

Men who are good at expressing their feelings might include someone, who, sitting in a traffic jam, would talk to their passenger about how frustrated they were feeling.

"The fertile men were 'cartharsis coping', anything from just talking about things to getting quite upset or angry," said Keith Hurst.

He is now planning more research to hopefully prove the physical link between stress and fertility.

Male fertility is known to be on the decline in many Western industrialised countries, although it is not known why.

It is thought that the stress hormone cortisol, or more particularly another chemical, CRH, also produced by the body, can interfere directly with sperm production.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

13 Apr 99 | Medical notes
Stress at work: the pros and cons

26 Aug 99 | Health
Stress makes baby girls more likely

04 Mar 99 | Health
Caffeine drives up stress levels

15 Jan 99 | Health
Stress causes small babies





Internet Links


British Psychological Society


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99