Some of the casual talk you and your friends engage in on the topic of male fertility may leave you feeling suspicious that most of what you hear is a pack of lies. But the smart gal who is trying to conceive (TTC) goes to her trusty PC and her favorite web sites, such as this one, to determine the truth of the rumors. This time, you've chosen to find out about hot tubs. True or false: does soaking in a hot tub have an adverse effect on male fertility? Here's the lowdown:
There's a reason for the fact that a man's testicles reside outside of his body. Though the aesthetic effect of these dangling extremities may not seem enticing, there's a very good reason for the choice of this external location. Sperm cannot live at internal body temperatures.
While being exposed to a temporary heat source may not have too much of a permanent effect on male fertility, it's obvious that the body is designed to provide sperm with cooler temperatures. Studies have proven that sperm counts and quality peak during cold winter months, and decrease in the dog days of summer. It's easy to see why researchers have concluded that cooler environments lead to healthier sperm.
So, going back to the rumor mill as regards male fertility, it's important to note that bicycling, the wearing of tight underwear, sweating it out in the sauna, or soaking in a hot tub are not going to render your man infertile. On the other hand, if you and your partner want to have a baby, it's proving to be an elusive goal, and your partner has been found to have a low sperm count; he may want to avoid these kinds of activities. All of these activities generate heat and heat can be the culprit behind low sperm counts, though the main issue here is actual sperm damage.
The quality of the sperm is more of an issue than the quantity of the sperm when it comes to the effect of heat on male fertility. A hot tub, for example, can damage sperm that are in the early stages of development. These sperm will not be mature for many months. The sperm count is less affected, since sperm counts return to normal levels within a week after soaking in a hot tub.
There are many variables in how much and what type of damage is sustained during hot tub usage. For instance, your man may want to consider the level of heat, how long he soaks, and any other activities in which he engages that might need to be factored into the fertility equation. Men who perform work duties in an environment of intense heat may find their fertility is affected. If your partner works out of doors in a very physical profession and he bicycles or likes to soak in a hot tub, you may find that the quality of his sperm has suffered.