Are you a man who adores hot bathtubs or hot and pleasant Jacuzzi baths? If you want to start a family, it’s time to break up with your adoration. According to studies, continual exposure to ‘moist heat’ can damage male fertility. Think twice before repurchasing the hot tub if you intend to have children in the near future.
Reputed urologists also said that increased water temperature might affect spermatogenesis (the process of sperm creation). They advise males who are interested in fathering a child should avoid temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Usually, it can take up to six months to re-establish normal sperm parameters including sperm count, motility, shape, and structure.
In addition to heat, a number of different factors are responsible for reducing fertility in men.
It is also noticed that men are most likely to be viable if they have a sperm count larger than 20 million per millilitre, more than 50% of their sperm are moving, and more than 30% of their sperm have a proper shape and structure.
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Factors that are most likely to affect male fertility:
As per the meta-analysis, smoking cigarettes can reduce sperm density by 13 to 17 per cent in comparison with non-smokers. Not only does it have a negative impact on sperm concentration and motility but also badly affects sperm DNA and morphology resulting in unhealthy sperm and abnormal levels of sperm production. Hence, it causes infertility in men.
Human testicles are usually maintained at 35 degree Celsius, slightly lower than the normal body temperature (37 degrees). Testicles have an impressive capacity for thermoregulation. This is because the cremaster muscles which cover the testes help involuntarily in contracting and relaxing to either draw the testes close to the body for warmth or away from the body for cooling.
An increase in scrotal temperature just a few degrees above can obstruct spermatogenesis resulting in infertility.
Cannabis, also known as marijuana is a psychoactive drug consisting of 500+ chemicals including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is a mind-altering compound that has several negative health impacts. According to a review study, it has been clear that marijuana and its compounds enhance the causes of male infertility at multiple levels.
Most importantly, it decreases sperm count and motility by impacting the brain, mental, athletic, and routine health.
Stressful events not only affect sperm quantity but also have a bad effect on sperm quality. Psychological stress is an uncomfortable emotional experience that is accompanied by physiological, biochemical, and behavioural responses. Although the exact cause has not been known, it triggers the release of steroid hormones (glucocorticoids) resulting in lowering testosterone levels and thereby impacting sperm production.
Apart from that, oxidative stress can also be an alternative affecting semen quantity and quality.
Factors that may affect male fertility:
It is the heating of the testicles which drives the idea that tight clothing such as underwear or pants can cause infertility. Studies have shown that wearing tight-fit undergarments could raise testicular temperature causing a reduction in sperm production and motility.
Depending on the clothing type and posture of the body, the temperature rise can be somewhat from 0.5 degrees to 0.8 degrees. A small change in the testis’ temperatures which are induced by tight bottoms is capable enough to influence infertility. Don’t worry about it. You could simply switch to boxers to avoid this temperature rise.
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Human beings are not seasonal breeders, unlike most mammals. It has reported from studies that a difference in sperm counts is observed when samples are taken in the summer versus the winter. An average of 30 per cent reduction in sperm counts in summer v/s winter. Although this factor requires more research, it may affect male fertility due to increased heat.
Obesity or being overweight is a condition which can lead a person to several health complications. A study has shown a dose-dependent response between male infertility and male body mass index (BMI). As body fat increases, it produces leptin by reducing the level of testosterones turning it into a form of estrogen. Increased leptin levels impair sperm production resulting in low libido levels and thereby causing erectile dysfunction or ED.
Luckily, sperm takes about 70 days to develop and can be restored by maintaining a healthy weight.
Factors that are not likely to affect male fertility:
Have you ever been told to avoid masturbation or sex lest you ‘run out’ of sperm? That is almost impossible. A human body generates around 1500 sperm cells per second which are impossible to shoot a complete blank.
Studies have found that average ejaculation frequency is positively correlated to sperm motility. So, at certain levels, frequent ejaculation could actually help with male infertility.
Another study also reveals that the frequency of ejaculation is inversely related to the proportions of sperm with abnormal sperm morphology and semen volume. This clearly indicates frequent sex could keep infertility away.
Moderate alcohol consumption
Light, moderate, or what you say ‘social drinking’ does not associate with fertility issues. So, you can still safely raise a glass or two but not too many.
Male infertility is often the culprit when couples face trouble conceiving babies. Strenuous workouts, obesity, unhealthy food habits, and certain lifestyle patterns may stop you from impregnating a woman.
A couple is said to be infertile when they have been unable to conceive even after a year of unprotected sex, meaning the sperm count is not adequate enough or there’s a reduction in sperm motility or concentration.
Considering all these above-mentioned factors may help prevent the progression of male infertility. Furthermore, one should also opt for regular health checkups to get detailed information about their body vitals so that timely treatment can be implemented.