What’s a man’s worst enemy? Some guys might say their mother-in-law, their boss, unreliable Wi-Fi, or hair loss. But it might just be their cell phone.
That’s right, that small device used for essential tasks like Pokémon Go might be stealing your manhood. Or in other words, causing male fertility issues.
Though women get the brunt of the blame for couples’ fertility problems, men contribute to 50% of infertility cases. Placing mobile devices like cell phones and laptops near your family jewels can jeopardize your sperm count, but it’s not the only behavior that impacts fertility in men.
Guys produce an astounding number of sperm, at least 1,500 sperm cells per second. Sperm live briefly, so they must constantly be replaced. It takes 2-3 months for sperm to fully mature in the testes.
Male fertility requires men to produce an adequate number of healthy and functional sperm that can reach the female egg.
There are three key factors that determine healthy sperm:
Motility is the sperm’s ability to effectively swim into the female reproductive tract. Morphology is the size and shape of the sperm. Normal sperm have an oval head and long tail. It’s common for some sperm to have defects—such as two heads, two tails, or coiled tails—which hinder their ability to move.
A healthy sperm count is at least 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Anything lower could mean you’re infertile. Not sure if your sperm production is adequate? You can check your sperm count at home with SpermCheck, a simple male fertility test that gives you results in minutes.
Though some male fertility problems are caused by health conditions such as diabetes or hormonal disorders, many derive from poor habits.
Smoking: Decreases your sperm count and sperm motility
Excessive drinking: Hinders sperm motility and lowers sperm concentration
Stress: Can lead to hormonal imbalance that affects fertility
Excessive exercise: Causes testosterone deficiency, which results in infertility
Wireless devices: Affect sperm count and sperm motility
That last item may not sit well with you, but if you’re sitting with a laptop computer in your lap, you’re slowly killing your sperm.
Testicles are 7 degrees cooler than the rest of the body, which is necessary for sperm to stay cool and healthy. When you keep your cell phone in your front pocket or your computer in your lap, electromagnetic frequencies heat your testicles, which lowers your sperm count.
Studies also show that devices connected to Wi-Fi may impact sperm motility through free-radical damage.
So make sure you move those mobile devices away from the man zone.
The good news is you can keep your sperm healthy and plentiful by changing some habits. Promote a normal sperm count by eating a healthy diet, getting sufficient rest, and reducing stress.
Advances in science may also help men with poor sperm motility. Researchers in Spain are testing the idea that spinning blood to extract platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a concentrated mix of substances that help cells grow, can improve the quality and motility of sperm.
There are 7.3 million couples dealing with infertility. Men play a huge role in those cases. Make sure you’re doing all you can to understand your fertility factor and improve your sperm health. You can start by moving that laptop.