How does stress affect the male reproductive system?

1 Answer
Feb 11, 2016

About how stress affect the male reproductive system.


First of all, is important to know that there are many forms of stress, including psychological, can affect male fertility and reproduction. The autonomic nervous system and the adrenal hormones participate in the classic stress response while also affecting the reproductive system.

Evidence exists that mild-to-severe emotional stress depresses testosterone and perhaps interferes with spermatogenesis in the human male.
There are difficulties, however, in attributing individual cases of infertility to psychological factors without evidence of psychopathology.


The male reproductive system is influenced by the nervous system. The parasympathetic part of the nervous system causes relaxation whereas the sympathetic part causes arousal.

In the male anatomy, the autonomic nervous system, also known as the fight or flight response, produces testosterone and activates the sympathetic nervous system which creates arousal.

Stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is important to blood pressure regulation and the normal functioning of several body systems including cardiovascular, circulatory and male reproduction. Excess amounts of cortisol can affect the normal biochemical functioning of the male reproductive system.

Chronic stress, ongoing stress over an extended period of time, can affect testosterone production, sperm production and maturation, and even cause erectile dysfunction or impotence.

Also, when stress affects the immune system, the body can become vulnerable to infection. In the male anatomy, infections to the testes, prostate gland and urethra, can affect normal male reproductive functioning.