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A Guide to Male Infertility in Summer

In males, the testicles are located outside the body for a reason. For best sperm production, the testicles need to be 3.5 to 7 degrees cooler than the body’s core temperature. Higher temperatures have a detrimental impact on sperm production. Animal and human studies have shown decreased semen parameters with increased heat exposure. It’s a well-documented fact that sperm density worldwide decreases during the summer months. 

Internally, the body has many mechanisms to maintain scrotal temperatures, and it can naturally handle most weather and exercise-related heat changes. The mechanisms of the body are so beautiful that for every one-degree increase in ambient temperature, the scrotal temperature increases by only about a tenth as much. Despite these internal mechanisms, the summer affects sperm production and fertility. In this blog, we will know in detail about the effects of summer on male fertility.

Avoid Hot Tubs and Hot Showers in the summer.

Hot tubs and showers expose the scrotum to wet heat, which decreases the semen parameters in men. So what is the “safe” temperature for a hot tub or hot shower? Empirically calculating if the testicles must be a minimum of 3.5 degrees cooler than the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees, then a temperature less than 95 degrees would be optimum. 

Avoid SAUNAS in summers.

Saunas maintain a much higher temperature than hot tubs. They are around 180-195 degrees, and these high temperatures have been associated with disruption of spermatogenesis and decreases in semen parameters. If you are already having difficulty in conceiving, please avoid saunas.

Should I use laptops in the summers?

Most people work with their laptops on their laps, and unknowingly the groin region absorbs all the heat generated. In summers, the effect increases, and studies have confirmed reduced semen quality when men use their computers directly on their laps. Hence, always place the laptop on a desk and, under unavoidable circumstances, place a thick barrier (such as a pillow) between the laptop and your lap so that you don’t feel any excess heat.

Car seat warmers and Summers 

We all like warmed-up seats in winters, but it is not so recommended in summers. These heated seats are in direct contact with the scrotum, hence should be avoided in men with fertility issues.

Should I wear Boxers or Briefs in summer? 

When the testicles get warm in hot summer weather, the body automatically stretches out the scrotum. This natural mechanism protects the testicles by moving them away from the body’s elevated core temperature and, at the same time, provides an increased surface area for cooling. Thereby, it is advised to wear loose underpants. A study conducted in 2018 showed that men who wore boxers primarily had sperm counts which were 25% higher than those wearing tighter underpants [Minguez-Alarcon L. HumReprod 2018].

Effect of Work environments on sperm quality during summers

Professions that involve a lot of outdoor work or exposure to chemicals and radioactive substances greatly affect sperm production in summers. Decreased semen parameters have been found in bakers and ceramic oven operators. So what is the best strategy here? Wear loose clothes (underpants) and allow the body to utilize its built-in cooling mechanisms.

Scrotal cooling in summers

If you have trouble conceiving, scrotum cooling has been proposed as a mechanism to manage elevated scrotal temperatures. Commercially available scrotal cooling products can be used. Though there is no extensive research, a few small studies have shown evidence of some potential improvement in sperm quality. Men’s briefs with re-freezable ice packs can be used. But they should be used with great caution and only after medical consultation. If you have been working out for a long time, you should be able to change them. Otherwise, too much cooling is also not good. 

In summers, take more and more natural cooling dietary products. Drink coconut water and barley water. Replace tea and coffee with cold soups or cold fruit juices. If you regularly work out, change the workout timings to when there is not much heat. 

We at ZIVA fertility center approach infertility from all aspects. Environmental effects on semen/sperm health are substantial. You can always consult us for more detailed lifestyle changes suited to you. Reach us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024. Good news!!! Along with our Banjara Hills branch, we also have branches at Kompally, Manikonda, and Sanathnagar. Visit our website for more details.