Does Noise Hurt Male Fertility? The Answer May Be Yes

With rare exception, nighttime noises make life pretty miserable (especially the morning after). But according to recent research, men who are distracted by nocturnal noise might have to worry about an unexpected problem.

Noise Pollution

A 2017 study, conducted by a pair of Korean researchers, determined that men subjected to large amounts of noise may find themselves at greater risk of infertility. Published in the July 2017 issue of the journal Environmental Pollution, this report examined the impact of aerial sounds on men of reproductive age (between 20 and 59). Data from over 200,000 Korean men was analyzed from 2006 through 2013.

Upon sifting through this sizable stack of information, the study authors found that men exposed to relatively high noise levels were more prone to fertility issues. While both daytime and nocturnal sounds were found to have to this
effect, noises emitted between sundown and sunrise appeared to deal the most damage to men. Specifically, infertility rates were noticeably higher among participants exposed to night noises over 55 decibels. To put this in perspective, consider that this figure is actually quieter than typical human conversions, which register at 60 decibels.

The Importance of Peace and Quiet

To test the accuracy of their findings, the authors took into account the following factors:
• Smoking Habits
• Income
• Age
• Body Mass Index
Even when all these factors were entered into the mix, the connection between nocturnal noise and decreased fertility held strong.

In a statement regarding his team’s work, study co- author Dr. Jin-Young Min opined that “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.” Min did not mince words in his diagnosis of this problem; “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.”

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