NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Men trying to father children should avoid using a hot tub because it could affect their fertility, researchers said on Tuesday.
Dr. Paul J. Turek, of the University of California, San Francisco, and his team found in a small study that not taking hot baths could improve the sperm count in some infertile men.
“A large chunk of men who regularly take hot baths, sit in hot tubs or Jacuzzi’s can improve their semen quality and possibly their fertility potential by simply discontinuing this activity,” Turek said.
He and his colleagues identified 11 infertile men, average age 36, who habitually used a hot tub, heated Jacuzzi or hot bath for at least 30 minutes per week. They evaluated the men’s semen quality before and after they stopped using hot tubs.
After three to six months, five of the men had an average increase in total motile sperm counts of 491 percent, according to the study published in the International Brazilian Journal of Urology.
Five of the six men who did not see an increase in sperm count or quality were chronic cigarette smokers with a significant smoking history, whereas three of the men who had a good response were only occasional smokers.
“The message for men trying to conceive,” Turek concluded, “is to take great care of yourself and treat your body like a temple, as sperm production in particular is very sensitive to overall male health. It makes sense, given that a normal healthy man makes 1,200 sperm per heartbeat. This is a fast running engine that needs a healthy body to keep up that pace,” he said.
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