McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE, Orta OR, Rothman KJ, Eisenberg ML, Wefes-Potter J, Wise LA. The association between work hours, shift work, and job latitude with fecundability: a preconception cohort study. J Occup Health Psychol. 2021 Jul 29. doi: 10.1037/ocp0000279.


The role of occupational stress on male fertility is understudied. We examined associations between male occupational stress and fecundability. We used data from Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO), a North American preconception cohort study. At baseline (2013-2019), male participants aged ≥ 21 years completed a baseline questionnaire on employment status, hours worked per week, time of day worked (daytime, evening, nights, and changing or rotating shifts), and job title. We used the O*NET occupational database to rate independence by job title. Female partners were followed via bimonthly follow-up questionnaires for 12 months or until pregnancy. We restricted analyses to 1,818 couples attempting conception for ≤ 6 cycles at enrollment. We used proportional probabilities regression to estimate fecundability ratios (FRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The FR comparing unemployed with employed men was0.84 (95% CI: 0.62-1.14). Among employed men, FRs and 95% CIs for evening shift work, night shift work, and rotating shift work were 0.89 (95% CI: 0.68-1.17), 0.94 (95% CI: 0.66-1.33), and 0.91 (95% CI: 0.75-1.11) relative to daytime shift work. The FR for any nondaytime shift work was 0.91 (95% CI: 0.78-1.07). Total work hours (long or short) and job independence scores were not appreciably associated with fecundability. In conclusion, working nondaytime shifts and being unemployed were associated with slightly decreased fecundability. However, the variability in these estimates was substantial and the results were reasonably consistent with chance. Little association was observed for other occupation measures.

Share on: