New research has hinted at a link between job-related activities and sperm quality. Led by scientists from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the latest study reveals that men who engage in jobs requiring regular lifting of heavy objects, tend to have a greater sperm count compared to those in less physically demanding roles.
Published in the journal, Human Reproduction, the research falls under the larger Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) study. The EARTH study focuses on examining the impact of environmental factors and lifestyle choices on reproductive health. The researchers aimed to explore how occupational factors could be connected to sperm concentration and testosterone levels in men.
Here, we look at the rising rates of male infertility, and what the study revealed about the effects physical labour has on fertility.
Problems affecting male fertility
Male infertility is a growing problem across the West. Issues with sperm count and semen quality are the primary contributors to these escalating rates. In an eye-opening analysis led by the EARTH study group, it was revealed that men who sought fertility treatment experienced a staggering decline in sperm count and quality, dropping by up to 42% from the year 2000 to 2017.
Mounting evidence also suggests a link between male infertility and prevalent chronic ailments such as cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
How physically demanding work boosts male fertility
The EARTH study represents a joint effort between Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Mass General. Their goal is to examine how environmental elements and lifestyle choices impact fertility.
With a comprehensive collection of samples and survey responses from over 1,500 individuals, the study zoomed in on a specific group within this pool – those who were having fertility issues. There were a total of 377 men included in the study, whose partners were seeking help at a fertility clinic.
The findings revealed men who frequently lifted or moved heavy objects in their line of work had a 46% increase in sperm concentration. Furthermore, there was a 44% rise in total sperm count compared to those engaged in less physically demanding professions.
Men who were more physically active at work were also found to have elevated levels of testosterone. Surprisingly, they also had higher levels of oestrogen, which is typically considered a female hormone.
Undergo a fertility health check
There are a lot of factors that can impact male fertility. While this recent study suggests physically demanding work could boost male fertility, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue.
If you or your partner are experiencing fertility issues, book a fertility health check with SureScan. Together, we’ll get to the root cause of the problem, and explore the treatment options available.