Infertility is a problem every one of six couples planning a family has - of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
You might be surprised by how much your lifestyle can affect your fertility. From what you eat and drink to how you spend your time, the choices you make can have a real impact on planning your pregnancy.
Men who have difficulty fertilizing their partners may want to avoid taking a hot bath or sauna for a while, according to a study by a research team from the University of Carolina, reported by BBC News. What is the reason?
Studies show a significant decrease in the amount of sperm production when the testicles are repeatedly exposed to heat
Research shows that increasing testicular temperature with activities that produce heat around the scrotum - such as hot water baths, wearing underwear /tight underwear, sauna, or cycling - can cause a decrease in the quality and amount of sperm production, even mortility. This can reduce male fertility.
In reasonable intensity and frequency, a number of these activities will not have a significant effect on sperm. But men who do have sperm counts may want to avoid these activities for a while, if they and their partner are planning a pregnancy.
Findings from three years of study support the myth that men must avoid heating their sperm. After analyzing data from sterile men who have been repeatedly exposed to high water temperatures from hot baths - through a jacuzzi, or a tub of warm water - for about 30 minutes per week, they find a strong link to infertility in men. In fact, all the men in the study showed signs of infertility, including impaired sperm production and sperm death.
Other studies have shown heat from using laptops and wearing tight clothing can reduce fertility, according to a report from the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology. There is also some evidence that heat exposure can damage sperm DNA.
This is the reason why the testis is outside the male body, under the protection of the scrotum: Sperm will be in the best condition when in a cold environment, under normal body temperature.
The impact of infertility from soaking hot water can be improved
However, this damage is not permanent. It takes four to six months after soaking hot water so that a man's sperm count returns to normal. The team of researchers from the University of Carolina further found that after three to six months avoiding hot baths, less than half the number of men showed a dramatic five-fold increase in sperm count.
Sperm count in five of 11 men with fertility problems surged 491% after they stopped soaking in hot water for several months. Movement of the sperm rate was also reported to have increased from 12% to 34% in the group of men who "fasted" soaking in hot water.
Among a group of infertile men who did not experience an increase in sperm count, the researchers speculated that smoking habits might be the cause, because most men with sperm counts did not increase including chronic smokers.
Furthermore, researchers found that the effects of infertility only affect men who often soak in hot water, but it will not harm men who choose to take a hot shower with a shower.
Hot baths and saunas are also not recommended for pregnant women
There is no evidence to suggest that heat affects the lives of female eggs, but experts recommend limiting the use of a hot tub or sauna for less than 10 minutes at a time, especially in the early weeks pregnancy. A hot bath or sauna can increase your body temperature to levels that can be dangerous for your baby's development.
Studies have shown that increasing your body temperature during early pregnancy (hot baths or saunas, or in hot yoga classes, for example) increases the risk of neural tube birth defects and other congenital anomalies in temperature-exposed female infants high before 7 weeks of pregnancy. Neural tube birth defects are serious birth defects that affect the skull or spine.
A 2003 study reported that women who used hot tubs in early pregnancy were twice as likely to experience a miscarriage, reported the Baby Center.
If you really want to play safe, you should also avoid taking hot water at all when trying to get pregnant.
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