Read below to find out how temperature may impact sperm and male fertility, and tips to keep yourself cool
One thing that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the impact of temperature on sperm motility and viability. Your testicles are designed to protect sperm by keeping them outside of the body at a temperature slightly lower than your core. In nature, this system works well, but in the modern world, there are many environmental factors that mean this system isn’t quite enough to protect the sperm.
For example, if you work in an engine room, workshop, or busy kitchen you may find your body is unable to cool itself efficiently enough to keep your sperm at a safe temperature. If possible, take regular breaks to go outside and cool off.
Even office workers aren’t immune to the potentially damaging effects of temperature. Sitting for too long could cause your testicles to get too hot. Try to get up and walk around at least once an hour to improve blood flow and let yourself cool down. Be mindful of laptop use, too. Some laptops can get very warm, and if you’re sitting with a laptop directly on your lap (instead of on a lap desk), you could be raising the temperature of your testicles
The Good News: Temperature-Related Issues are Reversible
Your body is constantly making new sperm to replace old ones that have died off or were released during ejaculation. Exposure to higher-than-normal temperatures can damage the sperm that currently live in the testicles, but the damage is to the sperm themselves, not the reproductive system.
This means once the exposure to high temperatures stops, the damage to the sperm should stop, and, assuming that’s the only thing that has been impacting your fertility, any new sperm should be healthy and your fertility should return to normal. This means you don’t have to give up that hot tub forever, just while you’re trying to conceive.
Consider Your Clothing Carefully
Tight undergarments, and especially undergarments made of nylon or other less-breathable fabrics could contribute to overheating. Get into the habit of wearing cotton boxers or other loose-fitting clothing so your body’s natural cooling and circulation can work as well as possible.
Researchers are divided on the issue of whether tight-fitting underwear can reduce sperm quality, but it is widely accepted that elevated temperatures have an impact, so the breathability of loose-fitting boxers may be a good choice.
Avoid Long Soaks in Hot Baths
As relaxing as a long soak in a hot tub or hot bath can be, such prolonged exposure to high temperatures can be harmful. If you’re planning on trying for a baby in the near future, stay away from hot water and opt for a refreshing shower instead.
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