Psychoneuroimmunology and male infertility: A possible link between stress, coping and male immunological infertility

Peri Kedem, Mario Mikulincer, Benjamin Bartoov, Tamar Shkolnik

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    6 Scopus citations


    This current study investigated a link between stress and coping with some male infertility problems via psychoneuroimmunological theories. The study was carried out on 77 males who came to a fertility clinic for sperm diagnosis. Appraisal and coping with stress reaction to negative life events and to infertility were related to non-sperm cells within the seminal plasma. Those men who had felt strained from external events and from problems of infertility, and had used emotional escape coping strategies, were more prone to have an immunosuppressed reaction, indicated by bacteria within their plasma. Those using task focused control strategies were more prone to have an immunostimulatory reaction, indicated by white blood cells, including in some cases, sperm destroying phagocytes suggesting a possible auto-immunity reaction. When the analyses were done separately on patients with known male fertility problems in comparison with those with unexplained infertility, the two opposing psychoneuroimmunological processes became more pronounced.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-173
    Number of pages15
    JournalPsychology and Health
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 1992


    • Male infertility
    • coping
    • immunity
    • psychoneuroimmunology
    • stress


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