Effects of Excessive Heat on Sperm Count
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If you have been struggling to get pregnant, one of the many things that you have to worry about is the quality of your sperm. Since it is known that a man’s testes should be a few degrees cooler than the rest of the body, it is understandable to wonder if a heat can affect the sperm count that a man has. In fact, this is one of the main issues that may be causing fertility problems in a man. Just a few degrees extra are all that it takes for sperm count to be altered.
1. How to Avoid Heat
Sometimes it may be difficult to avoid heat that may be causing issues with a man’s sperm count. Men may enjoy taking a hot shower or spending time in a hot tub after a long day’s work. However, these simple tasks may be keeping your body from producing the amount of sperm that is needed in order to become pregnant.
You should also avoid wearing tight clothing and tight underwear during the time that you are trying to conceive as well. Try switching to boxers and loose fitting pants so that your testes have the airflow that they need in order to maintain an active production of healthy sperm.
Here is a summary of the things that you will now need to avoid in order to keep your sperm count high and extra heat to your testes at a minimum.
- Long hot baths, showers or hot tub sessions
- Keep your laptop off of your lap
- Keep your testes hanging away from your body as they are naturally intended to do so
2. Can heat act as a male contraceptive?
Third world countries have been using heat therapy for centuries when they are attempting to slow down the birth rates. The testes are heated for an extended period of time, which then inhibits sperm from being produced.
In fact, this method has been used for at least the past 20 years and there is so much interest in this technique that it has also been studied by the Japanese government as well. This study also found that heat as a contraceptive to be extremely effective in men.
3. What Can I do differently?
There are many things that you can do in order to keep your sperm count at a healthy level. For example, you can begin by taking cooler showers or baths and being actively conscious of the heat you are applying to your genital region. Avoid wearing tight clothing and keep as cool as possible.
Research has shown that the main reason the testicles are located in the scrotum rather than in the stomach is so that they will be able to maintain the perfect temperature in order to maintain healthy sperm levels. Make sure that you keep this in mind the next time you are dressing for the day.
4. What is the optimal temperature?
It is suggested that the ideal temperature for sperm is about 3 or 4 degrees below the average body temperature. Even a one degree increase in temperature can cause a 40% decrease in the amount of sperm that is produced.
Even the temperature outside can make a difference when it comes to the temperature of the testes. One study showed that during the summer in New Orleans, men had lower sperm counts than they did during the winter. This information simply shows how important it is for men to be mindful of the temperature of the genital region while they are trying to conceive.
There are many things that can cause the temperature of your testes to rise and many cannot be avoided. Some things like the job or the location that you live may prevent you from protecting your testes from excess heat. However, there are some things that you can do to help alleviate some of this heat.
It is a good idea to talk to your doctor about the specifics of your lifestyle so that you can decide what lifestyle changes should be made in order to keep your sperm counts high and healthy. Be sure to take this seriously when you are trying to become pregnant and keep your testes as close to a normal temperature as possible.
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Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.