Health

5 Ways Men Unknowingly Damage Their Sperms

1. Tight underwear:

It is commonly advised that men who want to become a father should switch from briefs to boxers.

The fear is that the tighter briefs keep the testicles closer to the body, resulting in warmer testicles which lowers sperm count.

Scientists from Stanford University in California and the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted tests on 501 men who were trying to become fathers.

Men who want to become a father should wear boxer shorts rather than briefs – and go to bed in the nude.

They found that a man’s choice of underwear makes a big difference to the quality of their sperm.

Studies suggest wearing tight underwear can harm sperm production (stock photo)
Of the group, those who wore loose boxer shorts during the day and no underwear in bed had 25 per cent lower levels of damaged DNA in their sperm compared to those who wore tight pants both at night and during the day.

It seems that airier, cooler underpants help preserve vital reproductive cells. And at night, wearing no underwear at all gives the best results.

2. Laptops:

Experts say the testes work at an optimum temperature of around 35°C (95°F), or two degrees cooler than body temperature.

Laptops can reach internal operating temperatures of over 70°C (158°F) – so placing it directly in your lap can transfer some of that heat.

Indeed, according to Yefim Sheynkin from the State University of New York at Stonybrook, who carried out research into laptops and male fertility, it is possible that years of heavy laptop use ‘may cause irreversible or partially reversible changes in male reproductive function’.

Some laptop pads shield the testicles from the heat, but only for a short period of time. Dr Sabanegh recommends using your laptop on a desk or table instead.

3. Mobile phones:

It’s best to keep your cell phone as far from the testes as you can, warns Dr Sabanegh.

‘We’ve done a lot of research on cell phones,’ he said. ‘In studies where we directly exposed sperm to cell phone radiation, it did damage the sperm.’

A study last year found that using a mobile for as little as an hour a day is ‘cooking sperm’.

Studies suggest that radiation from mobile phones can damage sperm (stock photo)
Researchers from Technion University in Haifa discovered sperm levels of men who kept their phones in their pocket during the day were seriously affected in 47 percent of cases.

4.Medications:

Certain drugs – legal and illegal – can have a negative effect on a man’s fertility, said Dr Sabanegh.

According to NHS Choices, these medicines can sometimes cause infertility problems in men:

Sulfasalazine – an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It can decrease the number of sperm, but its effects are temporary and your sperm count should return to normal when you stop taking it.

Chemotherapy – medicines used in chemotherapy can sometimes severely reduce sperm production.

Herbal remedies – some herbal remedies, such as root extracts of the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii, can affect the production of sperm or reduce the size of your testicles.

If you have concerns about your fertility, talk to your doctor before starting a new medication or treatment.

5. Tobacco:

If you smoke, kicking the habit can improve your fertility.

Semen analysis of smokers reveals trace elements from tobacco. These chemicals lower sperm count and sperm’s ability to move spontaneously and actively, warned Dr Sabanegh.

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