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Conception Oct 26, 2020
4 Minutes

Keeping cool: an easy science-backed win for male fertility

We know that male fertility is under pressure these days. Average sperm counts are down nearly 50% in the last few decades. Click here for more. Fertility is most certainly not just a female issue! We have known for a while that heat exposure is a clear negative. However, new research shows us the extenthow and where heat causes damage. This can of course help us make different decisions to support male fertility. It can also potentially give us answers where we are lacking. Especially as this particular aspect is often missed. Here is the what you need to know: 

New research gives us an extra clue to how male fertility is damaged by heat: 

We have known for a while that the best temperature in humans for healthy sperm production and development is between 32-35 degrees Celcius (90-95F). Just below body temperature. However, new pioneering research has shown the impact of heat (when it rises too much) and demonstrates a very real impact. Even with just short term exposure. More significant? The effects can sometimes get hidden… 

The key is that it only appears to have to be brief exposure to do damage…

This research was carried out on animals, so more does need to be done. However, what was interesting is that even a brief pick up in heat revealed significant damage to DNA within sperm…. 

Turning up the heat by just two degrees can = 25x damage! 

This is pretty material! The research also demonstrated that sperm DNA was impacted by ‘large amounts of DNA breaks’ under these conditions. 

Why does this matter?

We know that sperm that has damaged DNA (DNA fragmentation) either will not allow an egg to develop or can cause miscarriage/abnormalities. Click here for more. 

Billions of sperm are produced – but the amount and type of damage remains key: 

It is inevitable that there will be some degree of genetic abnormality within sperm. That is in fact normal. The key is how much. Even more significant – the type of damage that is caused often gets missed by traditional sperm analysis. 

Traditional sperm evaluations will look at aspects like morphology, motility, sperm count etc but miss out the crucial element of damage: to the DNA.

To understand this we need to ask for a specific sperm DNA fragmentation test. Click here for more.  

You’re looking for a damage level of 30% or less. It appears heat exposure damages not by impacting morphology, count etc but by this crucial element: DNA integrity. Moreover, we know that significant DNA damage to sperm can = infertility and greater risk of miscarriage. 

How we can help reduce damage to male fertility: 

There are of course MANY potential reasons why male fertility can be impacted. Click here for ten of the common reasons and ways to combat. 

However, this research backs up how absolutely crucial it is to keep sperm cool. This means:

  • Avoiding prolonged hot baths/hot tubs
  • Tight restrictive underwear/clothing
  • Laptops/anything that will apply heat
  • Exercising in tight clothing
  • Sitting down for long periods without proper ventilation

Varicocele: a hidden cause of heat exposure and negative for male fertility: 

Varicocele is a condition which can make heat damage more likely. Essentially it is an enlargement of veins in the scrotum. This can mean more heat exposure on vulnerable sperm cells. 15% of the population experience it at some point and it is more common in younger men. Some signs that you may be impacted:

  • swelling in scrotum
  • lump in testicles
  • dull/recurring pain

However, there can also be no visible symptoms at all. In fact, often a doctor will need to do an ultrasound. So it is worth asking your doctor for an examination if you’ve been trying for a while with no luck. 

Another reason to ask for a sperm DNA fragmentation test: 

Looking at traditional measures of sperm health and function could miss this damage. Of course, if we don’t know what the issue is, we can’t fix it.

The good news however is that sperm is regenerative and once the root cause has been established it can be treated.

Click here for the ten evidence based ways to boost yours. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.








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