The problem of infertility occurs in about 15% of couples. In roughly a third of these couples, male infertility is usually the main issue. This occurs due to low sperm production and abnormal function or blockages of sperm. There are several medical and environmental factors that tend to lead to male infertility, including overheating of the testicles. High temperatures can damage sperm production and function.
Happy sperm tends to thrive in an environment that is 4-6 degrees cooler than the male core body temperature (an average of 97-99 degrees). This is why testicles are equipped with the cremaster muscle. When the body gets too cold, the cremaster muscle contracts to pull the testicles closer to the body, and when the body gets too warm, the cremaster muscle relaxes to let the testicles hang low.
When sperm are exposed to elevated temperatures, they die. Prolonged heat exposure can have a damaging effect on the sperm production process, which will cause the body to produce less sperm.
So what really can be done?
Factors That Affect Sperm Health
Fertility is usually determined by several factors, including quantity, movement and structure. “Sufficient” fertility is likely if a single ejaculation contains at least 15 million sperm per milliliter. Too little sperm will make conception more difficult because there are too few sperm to fertilize an egg.
When prolonged heat exposure slows down the production process, it can lead many sperm to become abnormally shaped.
Boxers vs. Briefs
The ongoing debate about boxers versus briefs can be determined by one key factor, and that is heat.
Studies have shown that men who wear boxers have higher sperm counts than men who wear briefs. The tight fit that comes with wearing briefs is what ultimately contributes to lower sperm count.
Why is this? Because testicles need to “breathe” to function properly, and when heat is thrown into the mix, the combination of tight briefs and increased temperatures can lead to low-functioning sperm.
Making a choice between something as simple as boxers versus briefs is one of the cheaper, more simple options for dealing with fertility struggles and can have a real impact on sperm health.
Producing Healthy Sperm
There are several steps that can be followed in order to increase the chances of producing healthy sperm.
First, maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet while consuming plenty of fruits and veggies that are rich in antioxidants can help keep sperm healthy. Another factor is practicing safe sex and protecting against sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause infertility in men.
Stress management is also a key for a variety of health reasons, with infertility being one of them. Stress often leads to decreased sexual function, which then causes an interference with sperm-producing hormones. Exercise and physical activity can help to increase levels of antioxidant enzymes, which help to protect sperm and keep them functioning efficiently.
If you think you are dealing with infertility issues, then you need to look us up. We are Z Urology. We provide state-of-the-art urologic care in the South Florida area with a focus on both male and female urology. Our practice specializes in all urologic procedures, specifically, minimally invasive methods. Our three locations to choose from are located in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pompano Beach.
We at “Z” specialize in bladder issues, erectile dysfunction (ED), prostate issues, urinary incontinence, sexual dysfunction, stone disease, male infertility, pyeloplasty, Peyronie’s disease, and ureteral reimplantation.