Male infertility is becoming a global issue

Studies have shown that infertility affects about 15% of couples on a global scale. It is estimated that this amounts to 48.5 million couples worldwide. The research indicated that males were responsible 20 to 30% of infertility cases, and overall may contribute in some way to 50% of all cases.

Infertility is defined as no conception taking place after 1 or 2 years of unprotected sex. However, note that only medical tests can establish where the problem may lie.

The studies have also revealed that male infertility is on the increase, and in many instances, there is confusion about the facts causing the condition.

Sorting out the facts from fiction

There are often rumours and strange ideas floating about when it comes to sexual matters, and this includes the tricky, sensitive, subject of fertility. Here are answers to some common questions about fertility that can help to sort out facts from fiction:

  • Working in a kitchen is bad for fertility

Fact. The reason why the male sexual organs are located outside the body is that the testicles where testosterone is produced, need to be cooler than the body temperature, to function properly. Working in a kitchen as a chef, or even in a bakery, where there are hot stoves and ovens, will reduce and impair testosterone and sperm production.

  • Age does not affect male fertility

Fiction. The quality of a man’s sperm does decrease with age. If a man is over the age of 45, research has shown that it can take more than six months for a partner who has no fertility issues to fall pregnant.

  • Hot tubs and saunas may affect fertility

Fact. The high temperatures in saunas, hot tubs, and hot baths may cause the testicles to become too hot. The high temperature can kill sperm, and lower quality and sperm count. The good news is that once the hot baths and saunas are avoided, things will return to normal.

  • Men’s briefs, which are a tighter fit than boxers, should be avoided

Fiction. The theory is that the tighter briefs can squeeze the genitals and raise the temperature in the testes. However, there is no actual scientific proof of this, so the recommendation is to wear what is comfortable for you.

  • The heat from a laptop can cause damage.

Fact. According to the US Fertility and Sterility Journal, heat from a laptop has been shown to damage sperm count, and weaken the mobility of the sperm. But there is something of a twist in the tale here. It appears that the research was done with the laptop actually on the lap of the person concerned. The recommendation from the studies is that if you are trying to conceive, keep the laptop on a desk or a table. It is not actually the laptop that causes harm, but it’s the heat it emits when used, that does the damage to the genital area.

  • Keeping a mobile phone in your pocket is dangerous for the genitals

Fiction. A cell phone does not generate enough heat to raise the temperature of the testes.

There is strong evidence that lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking also affects fertility. Clean up your act if you are overdoing it in that area and want to stay fertile.

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February 15, 2021

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