Truth: Tight underpants such as briefs or boxer briefs are hot. Temperature affects the sperm quality. The testes must be at least 1-2 degrees cooler than the rest o the body. These types of underwear keep the temperature of the testes higher than normal. So, the testes do not function as well and the sperm quality is lower. Men should wear loose fitting underwear such as boxers to maintain healthy sperm quality.
Myth: Bicycling doesn’t affect fertility.
Truth: Sitting on a bicycle saddle for more than 30 minutes at a time especially if wearing tight bicycle shorts raises scrotal temperatures and temporarily affects sperm production. It’s the raising of scrotal temperatures that is mostly to blame. Choose a seat that’s not too hard or narrow and adjust it so that the weight is on your butt bones. This is why it is ill-advised for men to frequent the hot tub or sauna when hoping to conceive. Even sitting with a laptop on your lap for prolonged periods may decrease sperm counts.
Myth: Lubricants speed up sperm.
Truth: Lubricants decrease friction, but they won’t help you get pregnant. In fact, using lubricants can actually be counterproductive as they can interfere with sperm motility and may have ingredients that are toxic to sperm. Steer clear of all such products when attempting conception. If an alternative is needed, vegetable oils or Pre-Seed Intimate Moisturizer are sperm friendly.
Myth: Taking testosterone will boost my sperm count.
Truth: Actually, taking steroids such as testosterone will stop sperm production in its tracks! Stop taking the steroids/testosterone immediately and the sperm production usually returns to normal within 3 months.
Myth: Only women need vitamins for fertility.
Truth: Low levels of vitamin C and zinc can cause sperm to clump together, so keep your numbers up. Vitamin E can counteract excess free-oxygen radicals, which can also affect sperm quality.
Myth: As long as I am healthy, I am fertile.
Truth: Turn your back on toxins. Landscapers, contractors, manufacturing workers, and men who have regular contact with environmental toxins or poisons (pesticides, insecticides, lead, radiation, or heavy metals) are all at risk of infertility. Even smoking and alcohol will affect men’s sperm quality.
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, M.D. is an award winning and leading Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Dallas IVF, one the nation’s premiere infertility centers. Dr. Ku clarifies the many confusing terms used in the world of Infertility using straightforward explanations.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and Attain Fertility has teamed up with our friends at RESOLVE to bust some infertility myths. Find out more about infertility and how to bust your own infertility myth on RESOLVE’s website.