Dangerous occupations for men

Dangerous occupations for men

Dangerous occupations for men

Most men are reluctant to talk about sexual health issues but in fact they’re very common – studies show that around 31 % of men suffer from some kind of sex-related problem during their lives. Common problems include loss of sexual urges, being unable to get an erection, premature ejaculation, inability to reach orgasm and even infertility. Any of these issues can be extremely distressing and they frequently lead to relationship difficulties. Because a good sex life has such a positive effect on all-round health, problems with sex can lead to other issues too – depression, sleep disorders or even heart disease or cancer.

Any man who suffers from a sexual health issue should seek medical advice as soon as possible to identify the problem. The good news is that most cases can be treated successfully. Of course prevention is always a better option that cure, so it’s just as important to look out for the possible causes of sexual health problems and avoid them wherever possible. There are many of those, including diet and lifestyle, but one thing that most people never consider is their occupation. It may sound hard to believe, but some jobs put men at an increased risk of sexual and reproductive health issues.

In fact it shouldn’t be surprising that certain jobs may be a risk factor for male sexual health problems. After all most men spend much of their time at work, and there are a wide range of causes for all the common issues. It’s almost inevitable that one or more of these causes will be present in some jobs, and naturally that increases the risk. Here are some of the work-related risk factors that can pose a risk to men’s sexual health.

Sedentary Work


Unfortunately many jobs in the modern economy are sedentary

Lack of physical exercise can lead to sexual performance problems in several ways. Men who don’t get enough exercise will have less efficient circulation, and healthy circulation is the key to getting and sustaining an erection. Insufficient exercise also causes testosterone levels to fall, and low testosterone is a common cause of loss of libido.

Unfortunately many jobs in the modern economy are sedentary. Long hours make it difficult to fit in exercise during the day, and outside work there are other demands on time that mean exercise can easily slip down the list of priorities. To stay healthy – sexually and in general – it’s vital to reprioritize and make time for regular physical activity.


  • Taxi drivers have a sedentary job with long shifts and little physical exercise.
  • Office workers often spend their whole day at their desk and get little or no exercise.
  • Commercial drivers also have a mostly sedentary job. Most modern trucks include extensive driver amenities including heated seats, which make cold weather driving more comfortable but can reduce fertility.


Stressful Occupations

Stress frequently causes loss of libido

Stress frequently causes loss of libido

Stress frequently causes loss of libido; in fact it’s one of the leading culprits. Many jobs involve an element of stress and this often leads to a loss of interest in sex. Work-related forms can take many forms. A constant need to make major decisions or hit performance targets is stressful, and while some people thrive on it others can end up under severe pressure that affects their health. Physical danger is also a significant stress producer.

  • The creative arts, including acting, music and writing, put a lot of stress on their members. People in these trades also have high rates of smoking and alcohol use which frequently leads to difficulties with erections.
  • Journalists are constantly racing deadlines and trying to scoop other agencies, which puts them under a lot of pressure. Changes in the industry and the rise of online news sources mean it’s also a period of unpredictability for reporters, adding even more stress.
  • Military personnel might be patrolling in hostile territory, flying a fast jet at low level or making decisions that can change the course of history – all of these pile on the pressure, and while a few people thrive on it most will find it taking its toll after a while.
  • Commercial fishing is probably the most dangerous job in the world. Going to sea in small boats, often in bad weather, is extremely hazardous and the stress can be incredible. Other causes of stress are the unpredictable nature of the industry – a bad catch, or low prices when the boat docks, can mean financial disaster and that’s another major cause of anxiety for fishermen. The stress of their job means that many fishermen smoke or drink alcohol, both of which often cause problems in getting an erection.
  • Law enforcement involves a lot of danger and a high level of responsibility, and this causes stress.
  • Firefighting is a hazardous job that, like law enforcement, carries a lot of responsibility for other people’s lives and property.
  • Taxi drivers run one of the highest risks of becoming crime victims, making it a high stress job.
  • Commercial pilots have responsibility for hundreds of passengers and crew; this puts them under a lot of mental pressure which often leads to difficulties.
  • Public relations executives experience surprisingly high levels of stress.
  • Commercial drivers. Driving can be stressful and long periods of alertness often have a negative effect on sexual performance.


Harmful Environments


Certain types of protective clothing can also trap heat close to the body

There are several environmental factors that can cause sexual problems, but one of the most common is heat. If the scrotum is constantly exposed to levels of heat approaching normal body temperature this can cause a reduction in sperm production, leading to infertility. Among men who want to have children infertility is one of the most distressing sexual health problems and it affects up to one in every hundred men. In some cases it’s hereditary or permanent, but in many more it’s temporary and heat is a common cause.

Other environmental hazards can also decrease sperm counts or lead to low quality sperm. Many chemicals can cause infertility, including some that are widely used in various industries.

An overheated office isn’t usually enough to cause problems but a heavy industrial plant, the engine room of a ship or a tropical climate may be. Certain types of protective clothing can also trap heat close to the body; if the groin area is uncomfortably warm that’s a definite risk factor.

Other environmental hazards can also decrease sperm counts or lead to low quality sperm, with chemicals being a common hazard.


  • Agricultural workers are often exposed to pesticides and other chemicals that can cause infertility them for long periods. When working with pesticides, or harvesting crops that have been treated with them, suitable protective clothing should always be worn.
  • Many sportsmen wear protective gear that can trap heat in the groin, resulting in overheating of the scrotum and a fall in sperm count. Jockstraps and protective cups are common culprits.
  • Firefighters are often exposed to toxic fumes from burning plastics or chemical fires. They also wear heavy, heatproof protective gear that can overheat the testicles.




High energy radiation can cause temporary or even permanent infertility

High energy radiation can cause temporary or even permanent infertility. Most people are aware of the risk from gamma radiation but X-rays and even high-powered radio frequency transmissions can also have serious effects.


  • Military personnel may have to work with nuclear power plants on a ship or submarine, or even nuclear weapons. Many military radio and radar systems also put out dangerous levels of RF radiation.
  • Power station staff who work around nuclear reactors are exposed to higher than normal levels of radiation and should monitor their exposure.
  • Radiologists who work around X-ray machines should wear protective aprons to protect their genitals; the energy released in a single typical X-ray shot is low risk, but the effect of repeated shots is cumulative and places the operator at some risk.


Physical Injury


Any job that carries a serious risk of physical injury can result in damage to the penis or testicles

Finally, any job that carries a serious risk of physical injury can result in damage to the penis or testicles; this may make sex difficult or impossible, or can lead to psychological issues that reduce libido or cause anxiety.


  • Law enforcement officers have an increased risk of physical injury that can directly or indirectly cause sexual problems.
  • Sportsmen have an extremely high rate of physical injury. Muscle and skeletal injuries frequently make sex painful or impossible, and there can also be a risk of damage to the genitals themselves.
  • The construction industry is another dangerous occupation; tools, falls and other hazards present a high risk of injury and there’s also regular exposure to chemicals.
  • Photojournalists and foreign correspondents face a higher than average risk of physical injury.
  • Commercial fishing puts fishermen at risk of injury from bad weather, fishing gear and deck machinery. Injuries to the groin from hooks and knives are common.

There’s no doubt that some jobs carry an increased chance of male sexual health issues. It’s not all bad news though. In most cases there are precautions that can be taken to minimize the risk, and often they’re very simple – making time for exercise, for example, or following safe working practices around radiation emitters. There are very few cases where the risk justifies a change of jobs, and ironically that applies most to some of the ones that seem most hazardous. Working in a nuclear power plant could cause infertility, but in fact reactor engineers are less likely to suffer that than the average office worker is to lose interest in sex because he spends too long sitting at a desk. Many of the most dangerous jobs are also physically active ones, which can help balance the risks. The bottom line is that whatever job he has, there are some steps every man should take to protect his sexual health.

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