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Setting the Record Straight: Myths vs. Facts of Male Infertility

The internet can be a two-edged sword. On one hand, you can easily find valuable information on any topic. On the other hand, you can easily find inaccurate information on any topic!

When it comes to understanding male infertility, there are plenty of myths floating around the web that get regurgitated in forums and conversations. We’re here to debunk the male infertility myths and give you the facts about your sperm.

Why is this a big deal? Well, infertility affects one in 25 men, so that means several guys are dealing with the issue. They should have accurate information. While women have several outlets for information on infertility, it’s not a common topic in men’s forums.

So if you ever wondered if carrying cellphones in your pocket or relaxing in a hot tub really hinder your sperm count, read on as we set you straight on facts and misconceptions of male fertility.

Age Doesn’t Affect Men’s Fertility—Myth

You may think you’ll have no problem impregnating a women when you reach your AARP card days, after all, you hear stories all the time of old-timers having kids. But for every George Clooney or Billy Joel, there are men who struggle to get their partners pregnant as their first gray hairs emerge.

Men over 35 are about half as fertile as men under 25, and on average it takes men over 40 two years to get their partner pregnant while men under 25 take just 4.5 months. In fact, your semen decreases continually beginning at age 20.

Cellphones in Your Pocket Hurt Your Sperm—Fact

There’s always been concerns about mobile phone radiation and its impact on people. While people have wondered whether talking on cell phones can lead to brain tumors, guys have another concern—will it lower their sperm count?

These days most guys keep their phones in their front pockets, dangerously close to their man zone. According to a study, when semen was put in a dish next to a cellphone, the semen’s quality decreased after a few hours. However, another study showed that only guys who spoke on the phone for more than four hours a day while it was in their pants saw a decline in sperm.

Cycling Can Make You Infertile—Myth

A small study found that male mountain bikers experienced more infertility from scrotum damage while biking on rough terrain. That led to people sounding the alarm about cycling and its impact on male fertility.

But the study only looked at men who biked at least 3,000 miles a year on narrow, racing bike seats.

Other studies have found that cycling has no effects on fertility. Plus, the average cycler doesn’t ride extreme distances and uses wider seats with more cushion. So unless you’re training for the Tour de France, cycling is safe for your sperm.

Hot Tubs Hinder Sperm Production—Fact

While there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in a hot tub to unwind, the heat raises the temperature of your scrotum, which affects your sperm.

Numerous studies have shown that prolonged exposure to excessive heat can hurt your sperm. Sperm likes to be cool, as the scrotum is 2-4 degrees cooler than the core body temperature. For every one degree rise in temperature, sperm production can drop as much as 40 percent.

The good news is the impact isn’t permanent. So you don’t have to swear off hot tubs, just use them sparingly and avoid them when you and your wife are trying to conceive.

Stress Causes Infertility—Myth

While studies have shown that stress is associated with lower sperm counts, the effects are small and not as detrimental as other factors, such as heat.

Other detailed studies found that only certain types of stress have an impact on fertility. So while a major stress factor—such as divorce or death of a family member—can have an impact, everyday stress such as pressures at work have little impact on sperm.

While we’ve sorted out some of the facts and myths about the causes of male infertility, you should find out if you’re dealing with infertility or not. The only way to know is checking your sperm. While the thought of going to the doctor to provide a sample is stressful, the good news is you can check your sperm at home with SpermCheck, an over-the-counter male fertility test that gives you results in minutes.

Once you find out your fertility status, there are several ways to improve your sperm health. Just make sure you’re getting accurate information and not falling for some of the common infertility myths.