When it comes to male fertility, there are a lot of myths that can cloud your judgment. With male infertility causing as much as 30 per cent of all conception problems, it is high time we clear some things up.
Here are five surprising facts about male infertility that you may not know (or may have thought were myths!).
1. Saunas and Hot Tubs Are Counterproductive
Regular exercise can help boost your fertility, but the activity that often follows a good workout –a soak in the hot tub or steam in the sauna– can undo all of your hard work. In fact, exposure to the high temperatures will heat things up down there and could potentially kill sperm and interfere with new sperm production, which could reduce motility. Translation: There will not be as many swimmers and those that are around will not move as well. Fortunately, the damage is not permanent, so there is no need to avoid the spa or hot tub when you are not trying to conceive.
2. Laptops Can Heat up More Than Your Lap
Maybe the term laptop is a bit of a misnomer because if you were to keep your laptop on your lap, it would probably get uncomfortably hot. Because of the heat, it is a good idea to keep the laptop away from the testicles. Extreme, concentrated heat can raise the temperature of the scrotum and interfere with sperm production. Not all experts agree on this advice, but most men decide to err on the side of caution.
3. Age Does Matter
Contrary to what many people think, a man’s fertility does, in fact, decline with age. The myth that men can conceive at any age probably comes from the truth that male fertility begins to decline at a more advanced age than female fertility. Sperm production begins to decrease after age 40 and declines further after 50. There is no such thing as male menopause, so it is possible for men to conceive well into their senior years, but it is much less likely to happen than when they are younger.
4. Stress Can Seriously Impact Fertility
In order for stress to impact fertility in women, it must be extreme. Things like getting fired or losing a close family member can temporarily throw off a woman’s cycle. However, stress affects men differently. It can lead to impotence and even shut down the glands that regulate the reproductive system. Even a little bit of stress can cause erectile dysfunction. Make an effort to fit in some stress-reducing exercises, such as walks, meditation or even just sharing some laughs.
5. You Can Eat Your Way Out of Fertility
This one is important for both males and females. When you are trying to conceive, it is important to watch your waistline. People who are obese may have more trouble conceiving than those who are a healthy weight. Actually, the same holds true for people who are underweight. When you are trying to conceive, try to get as close to a healthy weight as possible.