A new study has revealed that workplace exertion, having high blood pressure, and taking multiple medications are some of the health risks that may reduce male fertility.
"Nearly 15 percent of U.S. couples do not become pregnant in their first year of trying. Male infertility plays a significant role, and our aim is to explore the influence of environmental factors and health status on semen quality," said senior author Germaine Buck Louis of NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Researchers found that men who were diagnosed of high blood pressure had a lower percentage of normally shaped sperm, compared to men who reported no high blood pressure. Michael L. Eisenberg said, "As men are having children later in life, the importance of diseases people once thought as separate from fertility must be re-explored. Future investigations need to examine whether it's the high blood pressure itself or the treatment that is driving these trends."
Researchers also observed that the more medications a man reported taking, the higher his risk of a low sperm count. Of the men who reported taking two or more medications per day, 15 percent had sperm counts below 39 million.
NIH's Buck Louis said, "The good news is that these factors, if they are confirmed to have negative effects on male fertility, can potentially be modified by medical care or changing job-related behaviors. We look forward to additional research in this area."
The results appear online in Fertility and Sterility.