The kinds of jobs men do may affect their fertility

Sperm cells/Shutterstock Images

25 February 2023, Boston: Results of a study published this month reveal that men who do physically demanding jobs have a higher sperm concentration and total sperm count than men who are less active.

The study included 377 men in couples seeking fertility treatment at a fertility centre between 2005 and 2019. The mostly Caucasian men (87 per cent) answered a questionnaire on their occupation’s physical habits. Of the study group, 12 per cent reported frequent heavy lifting at work; 9 per cent reported evening/rotating shifts and 6 per cent reported heavy physical exertion at work.

Men who reported lifting heavy objects at work has 46 per cent higher sperm concentrations and 44 per cent total counts compared with men who never lifted or moved heavy objects.

Another finding of the study was men working non-daytime/rotating shifts have higher total sperm count as well. Men working evening/rotating shifts had a 24 per cent higher testosterone compared to those working day shifts.

“What these new findings suggest is that physical activity during work may also be associated with significant improvement in men’s reproductive potential,” said Lidia Minguez-Alarcon, study author, in a hospital news release.

She is a reproductive epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and co-investigator of the broader Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study.

The group of seven study authors caution that as the research was based on men in couples seeking fertility treatment, it may not be possible to generalize findings to the broad population.

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