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Nighttime Noise May Be a Silent Sperm Killer

If you live in a big city, on a busy street, close to train tracks, or anywhere near an airport, you’re probably so accustomed to the noise that it doesn’t disturb you any longer, and you can still get a good night’s sleep. While the background noise may not keep you up at night, it could keep you from getting your wife pregnant.

According to a recent study, men exposed to noise levels louder than the average suburban street at night—about 55 decibels—had a significant increase in infertility. The study found that long-term exposure to even low levels of noise at night contributes to male infertility.

To give you some perspective, rustling leaves is about 20 dB, a quiet rural area is about 40 dB, a normal conversation is 50 dB, while an air conditioner unit is about 60 dB. Sure, your AC doesn’t seem that loud, but as you’re keeping cool, you could be killing your sperm.

“Infertility is becoming a significant public health issue because of unexpected adverse effects on the health and quality of life and heavy expenditures on the health system,” said Dr. Jin-Young Min, the study’s co-author. “We know noise exposure has an effect on male fertility in animals, but our study is the first to show the risk of exposure to environmental noise on male infertility in humans.”

HOW NOISE IMPACTS MALE FERTILITY

Noise is a serious but often overlooked problem, and noisy bedrooms can cause several issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) says noise pollution is the leading environmental nuisance.

Noise has been linked to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and mental illness. Previous studies found noise can lead to fertility issues in women, and a noisy workplace environment can cause male infertility.

So how does noise actually impact your fertility?

Listening to constant noise can activate your body’s stress response, which disrupts the normal control of sex hormones. Your body releases cortisol when you’re irritated by constant noise, which produces hormones that lower testosterone levels. Low testosterone can reduce your sperm count and hinder sperm mobility, two key factors in male fertility.

UNDERSTANDING MALE INFERTILITY

You may try to ignore the research just like you ignore that freight train passing by in the middle of the night, but do it at your own peril. Infertility is an important issue, and not just for women.

Approximately 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving, and men contribute to 50 percent of infertility cases. Guys are solely responsible for 30 percent of fertility problems in couples.

To impregnate a woman, a guy must have an adequate number of healthy and functional sperm. The fewer sperm, the lesser the chance you have to fertilize a woman’s egg. If you and your wife are having fertility issues, it may be time to turn down the bedroom noise and check your sperm count.

Sure, having your sperm checked can make you feel uneasy, but you owe it to your wife. And, you can do it privately. That’s right, it doesn’t even require an embarrassing trip to the doctor. You can test your sperm count at home with SpermCheck, an over-the-counter male fertility test.

If your count is a little low, you may want to do an environmental noise audit.

QUIETING YOUR BEDROOM

If you find bedroom noise is an issue for you, and moving isn’t an option, there are some things you can do to create a more peaceful sleeping environment for you and your sperm.

  • Wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones at night
  • Put up heavy curtains to help mute noise outside your bedroom window
  • Make sure bedroom windows are properly sealed
  • Move a bookcase against a wall if noise is coming from a neighbor’s apartment
  • Move your bed away from a window if noise is coming from outside
  • Install acoustic tiles on wall, which will absorb and diffuse noise

A good night’s rest has plenty of benefits. Helping your fertility is a key one. Take heed to the research to avoid any unnecessary issues from a noisy bedroom.