Partner Factors

Publications under ‘Male Factors’ examine the association of male lifestyle and biological characteristics with fertility and reproductive outcomes. 

McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE, Orta OR, Rothman KJ, Eisenberg ML, Wefes-Porter J, Wise LA. The Association between work hours, shift work, and job latitude with fecundability: A preconception cohort study. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 2021; Epub ahead of print. 

We examined fecundability and male occupational stressors such as employment status, hours worked per week, time of day hours were worked, and occupational independence. Male unemployment and non-daytime shift work was associated with slightly decreased fecundability. No associations were observed for hours worked per week and occupational independence.

Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Wesselink AK, Mikklesen EM, Sørensen HT, McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE. Male sleep duration and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study. Fertil Steril 2018;109(3): 453-459.

We compared the fecundability of North American pregnancy planners according to how much sleep the male partner reported getting in the past month. Lower sleep duration for the male partner was associated with reduced fecundability, after accounting for the sleep duration of the female partner.

Harlow AF, Wesselink AK, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Wise LA. Male preconception marijuana use and spontaneous abortion: a prospective cohort study. Epidemiology 2021; 32(2): 239-247.

Couples with male partners who used marijuana once per week or more during the preconception period had greater risk of spontaneous abortion than couples with male partners who did not use marijuana, after accounting for the marijuana use of the female partner.

Harlow AF, Zheng A, Nordberg J, Hatch EE, Ransbotham S, Wise LA. A qualitative study of factors influencing male participation in fertility research. Reprod Health 2020; 17(1): 186.

We interviewed men and women from Canada and the United States who were trying to become pregnant to understand why men choose to participate (or not) in fertility research, and why women choose not to invite their male partners to participate in fertility research. We found that both men and women believe fertility is a woman’s health issue. Men find it difficult to talk about pregnancy and fertility and have fears that infertility is related to masculinity. However, men are motivated to participate in fertility research to support their partners, to help others, and to learn more about their own reproductive health.

Høyer S, Riis AH, Toft G, Wise LA, Hatch EE, Wesselink AK, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Mikkelsen EM. Male alcohol consumption and fecundability. Hum Reprod 2020; 35(4): 816-825.

We studied the association of the male partner’s alcohol consumption with fecundability among North American and Danish pregnancy planners. Overall, there was little evidence of an association between male alcohol consumption and fecundability. In the Danish participants, there was a weak association between consuming six or more alcoholic drinks per week and reduced fecundability.

Sommer GJ, Wang TR, Epperson JG, Hatch EE, Wesselink AK, Rothman KJ, Fredriksen LL, Schaff UY, Behr B, Eisenberg ML, Wise LA. At-home sperm testing for epidemiologic studies: Evaluation of the Trak male fertility testing system in an internet-based preconception cohort. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2020; 34(5): 504-512.

We invited male PRESTO participants to use an at-home semen test to identify issues with semen volume, sperm concentration, and motility. Among the men who used the test, most said that it was easy to use and reported that they would use it again.

Wesselink AK, Bresnick KA, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Wang TR, Huybrechts KF, Wise LA. Association between male use of pain medication and fecundability. Am J Epidemiol 2020; 189(11): 1348-1359.

Among North American pregnancy planners, the male partner’s use of pain medication at low doses was not associated with fertility.

Hatch EE, Willis SK, Wesselink AK, Mikkelsen EM, Eisenberg ML, Sommer GJ, Sorensen HT, Rothman KJ, Wise LA. Male cellular telephone exposure, fecundability, and semen quality: results from two preconception cohort studies. Hum Reprod 2021; epub ahead of print.

We studied the association of men’s carrying a cell phone in the front pocket with fecundability and measures of semen quality. Overall, there was little association between carrying one’s phone in the front pants pocket and fecundability. There was a moderate inverse association between carrying one’s phone in the front pants pocket and fecundability among men with BMI <25 kg/m2, but not among men with BMI ≥25 kg/m2. Carrying one’s phone in the front pants pocket was not consistently associated with any measures of semen quality.

Yland JJ, McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE, et al. A Prospective Study of Male Depression, Psychotropic Medication Use, and Fecundability. Am J Mens Health. 2022;16(1):15579883221075520.

This study examined the associations of male depression and psychotropic medication use with time to pregnancy. A history of diagnosed depression and greater depressive symptoms were associated with slightly decreased fecundability. The adverse effects of depressive symptoms on fecundability appeared to be driven, in part, by use of psychotropic medications and decreases in intercourse frequency.

Lund, K. H., Laursen, A., Grønborg, T. K., Toft, G., Jacobsen, B. H., Wang, T. R., Wesselink, A. K., Hatch, E. E., Sommer, G. J., Eisenberg, M. L., Rothman, K. J., Sørensen, H. T., Wise, L. A., & Mikkelsen, E. M. (2022). Perceived stress and semen quality. Andrology, 10.1111/andr.13301. Advance online publication.

We studied the association between male perceived stress, measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and semen quality among North American and Danish men. We did not find any meaningful associations between PSS score and various indicators of semen quality.