Hot Tubs and Male Fertility
Myths and Rumors
There are a lot of myths and rumors relating to male fertility and it's sometimes hard to get to the bottom of the gossip to find the truth of the matter. For example, people often wonder if the use of hot tubs affects male fertility. In this case, there's some truth hiding inside the concept.
A man's testicles don't dangle outside his body for nothing. The reason for this awkward physical manifestation is simple: sperm need to stay cooler than the rest of the body, or they die. A temporary source of heat may be damaging to sperm but on the whole doesn't cause much of an affect on overall male fertility. However, the body is created in such a way that a man's testicles remain in an environment that is several degrees cooler than his body temperature. Studies have been performed that show that sperm quality and count is highest during the cold winter months and lowest during the hot summer months. The implied equation: the cooler the environment, the healthier the sperm.
Going back to the old myth mill regarding male fertility: activities such as bicycling, wearing tight underwear, sweating in a sauna or bathing in the aforementioned hot tub are okay in moderation, but if there are fertility issues, for instance, your partner has a low sperm count and you're trying to conceive, he may just find it wiser to take a pass on these types of activities. The heat generated during such doings does tend to damage sperm.
It is the quality rather than the quantity of sperm that tends to be affected by heat. Men should be aware that the heat from a hot tub, for instance, can damage sperm that is still in its earliest stages of development, though they will not be mature for many months. The sperm count is less affected with the count returning to normal within a week after bathing in a hot tub.
Of course, the damage caused is in direct relation to the level of heat, how lengthy the man's exposure to the hot water, and any other activities affecting fertility that might be factored in. Professions performed in the heat may also have an effect on the quality of a man's sperm. An active outdoor job in combination with factors such as tubs and bicycling can combine to produce poor-quality sperm.