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What Temperature is Too Hot For Sperm Production?

The optimal temperature for sperm production is about 2-4 degrees below the body’s normal temperature. So, if you are trying to get pregnant, it’s best to avoid anything too hot.

This includes hot tubs, saunas, and tight clothes. Men who work in hot environments (like chefs) are also at risk.

Hot Tubs

It’s no secret that hot tubs, jacuzzis, saunas, and long, hot baths overheat the testicles and impair sperm production. A man who is trying to conceive should avoid these and other heat sources to improve his fertility chances.

Sperm like to reside in the scrotum, where it’s about 2-4 degrees cooler than your core body temperature. The scrotum also helps keep your testicles away from the abdomen, which can lead to lower fertility if it’s too warm down there.

That’s why we (and most other warm-blooded mammals) have a scrotum to protect our testicles and keep them cool enough for optimal sperm production. Unfortunately, many things can cause the temperature in the scrotum to rise: anything that causes your testes to get warmer will lower fertility, including soaking in hot water, working in a hot job or environment, and tight underwear that holds your testicles too close to your body.

One study found that men who avoided hot tubs and long, hot showers saw improvements in sperm health. After discontinuing these hot bath and shower habits, the men in the study experienced healthy sperm counts, with some men seeing a sperm increase of 49 percent – This fragment is pieced together by the keen eyes of the service’s specialists That’s a good reason to skip the bubble bath and stick with tepid water!

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There’s a reason the testicles (aka “balls”) are outside the body — they need to be four degrees cooler than your core body temperature to make healthy sperm. That’s why a man’s cremaster muscle contracts to pull the testicles closer to his body if they’re getting too warm, and relaxes to push them farther away when they’re too cool. Prolonged exposure to a warmer temperature will kill sperm, and the result will show up on a semen analysis as lowered motility.

The good news is that a sauna’s effect on sperm count is temporary and reversible. However, sauna use can be difficult for men who are trying to conceive. If you’re a sauna lover, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact on your fertility, including applying a cold pack while in the sauna.

According to Livescience, a small study of 10 fertile volunteers found that repeated sauna sessions decreased sperm production. It also increased scrotal temperature, and affected seminal parameters, sperm chromatin, apoptosis, and the expression of genes involved in heat stress and hypoxia. Fortunately, sperm counts rebounded within six months of sauna cessation. Men who work in professions that require significant exposure to heat, like bakers or ceramic oven operators, are particularly at risk. They should limit their sauna usage and wear loose boxer-style underpants to help mitigate the effects.

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Hot Showers

While summer is a time for backyard barbecues, relaxing on the beach and romantic sunsets, it’s not so great for your sperm. The high temperatures of this season can decrease sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you may want to cool it on the hot tub and shorten your showers.

Scientists believe that when sperm are exposed to elevated temperatures for prolonged periods of time, they begin to lose their ability to swim, which negatively impacts fertility. Fortunately, this type of heat exposure usually takes months to reverse its effect on sperm.

In a scientific study, researchers found that men who were exposed to wet heat for long periods of time experienced a decrease in semen volume, sperm concentration and sperm motility. When compared to the control group, the men with high ambient temperature exposure experienced significant differences in these parameters.

It’s important to note that this effect can be induced by many things, not just using hot tubs or showering in hot water. Several studies have shown that men who work in warm environments (from bakers to drivers) are at higher risk for decreased sperm quality because of the elevated temperature their testicles experience on a regular basis. This is believed to be caused by the fact that these occupations often involve sitting down.

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Tight Clothes

Tight clothing is not just uncomfortable, it can also harm fertility. Tight pants can trap heat in the scrotum, which can affect sperm count and motility. One study found that men who wear tight pants and briefs have lower sperm counts than those who wear boxers or looser underwear. The reason is that the scrotum needs to be cool in order for sperm to work properly, and tight underwear prevents air flow to the testicles.

To produce sperm, the testes need to be about 2 degrees cooler than core body temperature. The process of converting germ cells into the high-quality sperm that fertilise eggs is a complex and lengthy affair. Keeping the testes cool is essential, which is why the scrotal skin is designed to sweat and provide an evaporative cooling system. A toasty car seat can raise the scrotal skin’s temperature to dangerous levels, which can interfere with sperm production.

So, if you’re worried about your fertility this summer, avoid heat stress as much as possible by wearing looser underwear and taking breaks in hot showers or baths. You can also try using a sperm check kit to find out your sperm count, which is an easy and affordable way to see whether you have enough sperm for conception. But most importantly, if you do think your sperm count is too low, speak to a specialist at Avant Gynecology about the best ways to improve it.