When speaking of infertility, we usually think of women. However, some men do suffer from infertility, and according to a new study, a noisy bedroom could be a potential cause.
It is estimated that infertility problems affect one in six couples worldwide at least once in their lifetime. It may be due to a variety of causes such as genetic abnormalities, infectious disease, environmental agents, or certain behaviors.
Excess noise can affect your health
It may be hard to imagine that noise can lead to infertility. Sure, it can be annoying, but does it really cause health effects? Surprisingly, yes.
Noise can break your concentration and disrupt sleep. It’s even been linked to health problems such as heart disease and mental illness, and has been proven to change social behavior and interfere with the performance of complex tasks.
Previous studies done in women focusing on their fertility found a link between the exposure to noise and birth-related problems. This included premature birth, spontaneous abortion, and congenital malformations.
Noise effect on fertility
This new study has found that reproductive processes in males can also be affected by noise.
“Infertility is becoming a significant public health issue because of unexpected adverse effects on the health and quality of life and heavy expenditures on the health system. We know noise exposure has an effect on male fertility in animals, but our study is the first to show the risk of exposure to environmental noise on male infertility in humans,” said Dr. Jin-Young Min, a scientist from Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea, and the study’s co-author.
The study analyzed health insurance data of over 200,000 men aged 20 to 59. Noise exposure levels were calculated using information from the National Noise Information System combined with the men’s postal codes, which helped researchers get a better idea of the noise levels in particular regions.
Over the period of the study, 3,293 men were diagnosed with infertility.
Once the researchers adjusted for variables like age, income, BMI, and smoking, it was found that men exposed to noise levels over 55dB at night—about the noise level of a suburban street or an air conditioner—were at a higher risk of being diagnosed with infertility.
“If this trend continues, humans in the future will not be able to have normal pregnancy and childbirth. If you are a man and suffer from infertility, you need to consider exposure to environmental pollution as a risk factor,” said Dr. Min.