spermAnxiety may play a more important part in male fertility than researchers once thought, according to a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, completed by researchers at European Hospital in Rome, claims state and trait anxiety affect sperm volume, concentration, count and motility.

The cross-sectional study included 94 IVF participants and 85 controls. This was the first attempt at IVF for the active group. The control group was matched to participants in the active group. Both groups underwent sperm analysis for the study.

Conclusion: Both trait and state anxiety caused reduced semen volume, reduced sperm concentration/count and reduced motility in the active and control groups. Fertility doctors may find it helpful to address stress with male IVF patients to improve overall success. Researchers did not attempt to give advice on how to combat the effects of stress on semen and sperm quality/quantity.

Source: Vellani E, Colasante A, Mamazza L, Minasi MG, Greco E, Bevilacqua A. Association of state and trait anxiety to semen quality of in vitro fertilization patients: a controlled study. Fertil Steril. 2013 Feb 13. pii: S0015-0282(13)00141-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.01.098.