Learn About this Surprising Danger to Men's Fertility
To make babies or not to make babies. That is the question on many men’s minds.
Some men still want to be able to have children even after age 45. While still, other men want not to have children (and to enjoy sex).
Either way, the matter is linked to fertility. If your fertility is high, you’re more likely to make babies. If you’re fertility is low, you’re less likely.
Today I’ve got some good news for you - whichever side of the fertility fence you are on. A recent study has shown that a common activity can significantly reduce your fertility (without harming your health). So if you and your wife are trying to conceive, you’ll want to do less of this activity. And if you want not to conceive, you’ll want to do more of it.
I’m talking about repeated exposure to the hot water in jacuzzis and hot tubs.
There is nothing quite as relaxing as soaking in a hot tub or jacuzzi after a hard day’s work or a brisk afternoon walk. Now there is strong new evidence showing that men who regularly soak in hot water are dramatically reducing their fertility.
In today’s article I’m going to tell you about some of these infertility findings, and why you should use caution when using a hot tub or jacuzzi. I’ll also share with you some natural ways to boost your fertility (if you want to improve your chances of conceiving).
Infertility Linked to High Water Temperatures
Researchers have known for years that dry heat, from fever or an external heat source, can impair sperm production both in humans and animals. But a recent University of California study has found a strong link between men’s impaired sperm production and wet heat.
The study determined that instances of men being exposed on a regular basis to hot water such as found in jacuzzis and hot tubs were strongly linked to infertility. In fact, all the men in the study showed signs of infertility, including reduced sperm production.
Another interesting finding is that the water temperature does not need to be overly hot. The study defined wet heat exposure as immersing the subject in a Jacuzzi or hot tub with a water temperature warmer than body temperature. So 99 degrees or hotter would qualify. That might even include a few Florida swimming pools in the summertime!
Subjects had to do this for at least 30 minutes or longer each week for three or more months in order for effects to show. Men were not allowed to take part in the study if they had received any treatments for infertility any time within the previous twelve months.
Fortunately, this hot water damage to fertility seems to be reversible. Three to six months after stopping their exposure to hot water, the men’s sperm counts jumped by a whopping 491 percent. But researchers found that, in the group of men whose sperm count didn’t increase, tobacco may be to blame. Most of this group turned out to be chronic smokers.
It’s Not Just Hot Water
It’s not just hot water that is to blame for low fertility. There is a very good reason why your testicles are outside your body. They need to be in a cooler environment to work properly. Do you know why the sperm production of heavy-duty bicyclists may be lower than non-cyclists? It’s because of the excessive heat that is generated around the scrotum while cycling. Male bicyclists can tell you that the scrotum is tightly sandwiched between the legs and the bicycle seat, which generates a lot of heat. Spending hours in this position every few days over many months has been found to lower sperm count.
In fact, any time the testicles and scrotum are in a heated environment, like cycling, there is a danger that the man’s sperm count might drop. Fortunately, the condition can usually be reversed by stopping the activity.
Chances of Conceiving
Scientists have known for a long time that men’s testicles are sensitive to heat. In 1965 a study was conducted to examine the link between wet heat and infertility. In that study, subjects were exposed for 30 minutes or more per week to scrotal wet heat. Results showed a drop in sperm production during the study period. There was an unpublished study conducted in Switzerland during the 1940s. That study also showed a link between wet heat and short-term male infertility.
The University of California study confirms the earlier studies and shows the link between wet heat and infertility. What this means is that you should avoid prolonged, regular soaking in a hot tub or jacuzzi if you are trying to conceive a baby.
According to a National Survey of Family Growth study, about 7 percent of couples in the US report they are unable to conceive a baby within the first year of trying. The study does not report findings beyond the first year.
Of that group, 30 percent are attributed to the male and another 30 percent to the female. The rest are attributed to either unknown causes or to both the male and the female. This is based on studies performed by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
The ASRM projects that about 85 to 90 percent of infertility cases are treated with drugs or surgical procedures. Under 3 percent need sophisticated reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization. The problem is these advanced techniques can be expensive. ASRM notes an average cost for IVF of $12,400 in the United States per fertilization attempt.
How to Boost Your Fertility
If you are having trouble trying to conceive a child, you should first rule out the heat-related activities outlined above. Then, if you’re still having trouble you may want to consider taking these steps:
Improve your diet. This is a great first step in fixing your fertility problem. Without the proper nutrients all physical systems, including the reproductive system, will fail to work right.
Get regular, moderate exercise. I am not talking about jogging or pumping iron. I’m just suggesting getting outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine and doing something to get your heart pumping. This could be taking a daily half-hour walk, going for a daily bike ride, or doing some yard work. Anything that gets the blood flowing and works up bit of light sweat is great.
Get enough sleep. This is critical in getting your reproductive system back on track. If you are feeling exhausted there’s a good chance your body’s reproductive system is exhausted, too. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night.
Reduce your stress level. Nothing will kill your reproductive abilities like stress. Forget about your libido, which stress crushes, long-term stress has been shown to actually reduce sperm count.
If you are having difficulty trying to conceive, you might want to take a break from the jacuzzi or hot tub for a few months. In fact, you should avoid any activity that creates excessive heat for your scrotum and testicles. This includes not only hot tubs and Jacuzzis, but also heavy-duty bicycle riding.
Before you spend a lot of money on expensive medical or surgical “fixes”, consider natural solutions for infertility. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise, and lowering your stress levels.
Give these a chance to work before going to more extreme measures. As often as not, these simple, natural solutions will work for you.