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Hot baths may reduce fertility in men

13 March 2007
Appeared in BioNews 398

A small study conducted at the University of San Francisco has revealed that exposure to 'wet heat' is linked to a decrease in fertility in men. The findings suggest that warm baths can affect a man's ability to conceive, albeit temporarily.

In the three year pilot study, eleven men were exposed to 'wet heat'- warm baths, jacuzzis, or hot tubs - once a week for half an hour. It was found that three to six months after the exposure had ceased, the fertility of five of the men had significantly increased. It is known that sperm is best maintained in cool conditions, and the movement of the sperm in the study was seen to improve by 34 per cent by the end of the trials. Smoking was thought to play a role in the results for the six men who saw no change in their sperm quality during the study.

Dr Paul Turek, who led the study, said, 'It has been believed for decades that wet heat exposure is bad for fertility, as an old wives' tale, but this effect has rarely been documented...We now have actual evidence to show patients that these recreational activities are a real risk factor for male infertility', adding, 'these activities can be comfortably added to that list of lifestyle recommendations as men attempt to conceive'.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Hot baths cut chance of fatherhood
The Independent |  5 March 2007
Hot Baths Shrivel Sperm
Sky News |  5 March 2007
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