We bring you more surprising factors that may affect a man’s sperm. Happy reading!!!
Obesity has been associated with increased production of female hormones (estrogen), decreased sperm counts, sexual dysfunction, and infertility. Obesity is one of the most common causes of problems with sperm. Compared to normal and overweight men, obese fertile men have reduced testicular function and significantly lower sperm counts, according to a 2009 study by the World Health Organization.
Although obesity reduces sperm count, only extreme levels of obesity may negatively influence male reproductive potential, according to a 2009 study. By and large, the men who were overweight and obese ejaculated less semen than the men who were at healthy weights-3.3 ml for men in the normal weight category compared to 2.8 among the obese. A healthy volume for ejaculation is between two and five milliliters. Beneath that threshold men could become infertile.
Ejaculate has several chemicals that provide a safer environment for sperm. As such, if the volume is low it may be a problem. A number of theories have been proposed to explain this effect. One is that greater fat storage can end up turning testosterone into the female hormone estrogen, leading to a slowing (or stoppage) of sperm production. Another theory posits that the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells and makes people feel full, might actually damage sperm cells or those that produce them. Researchers have also submitted the simple idea that the insulating fat tissue causes temperatures within the scrotum to rise, killing sperm.
Sperm are finely crafted little baby making machine, and they require a precise environment. Human testes cannot function properly unless they are able to stay cooler than the rest of the body. Thankfully, the male anatomy is designed to create distance between the testes and the core body temperature. Testicles were fitted with a muscle called the cremaster muscle, which contracts to pull the testicles close to the body when they get too cold and relaxes to let them hang lower when it gets warm.
If the temperature of the testicles is raised to 98˚, sperm production ceases. When production is interrupted, sperm can be negatively impacted for months. Any time sperm production is interrupted, it can take months for sperm to rebound. This will show up on a semen analysis as reduced motility. If the exposure to heat is prolonged, it can affect sperm production processes, causing the body to produce fewer sperm, many of which may be abnormally shaped. On a semen analysis, this will show up as reduced sperm count and abnormal morphology (often accompanied by reduced motility).
Those at risk includes, but not limited to; bakers, long distant drivers, motorcycle riders amongst others.
Exposure to Phthalates in scented soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and in vinyl shower curtains (Ever noticed those things can give you a headache when you first hang them up?) is associated with increased risk of impaired sperm quality. And the heat from your shower makes it easier for the chemicals to be released.
Infertile couples are exposed to three to five times higher levels of phthalates compared to fertile couples who have naturally conceived a child. Phthalates can act as endocrine disrupting chemicals, mimicking or interfering with the actions of natural hormones like estrogen. Phthalate exposure is associated with lower sperm concentration and decreased sperm motility in men’s semen, as well as with decreased blood levels of important hormones in men.
Protect yourself: Choose a simple soap-and-shampoo-in-one, such as plant-based, unscented and mild shampoo, it does the job. Plus, it’s free of harmful phthalate-containing products. Avoid personal-care products that have a fragrance or scent. And invest in a long-lasting hemp shower curtain instead of buying vinyl curtains every month or two.
A varicocele is a varicose vein of the testicle and scrotum that may cause pain and lead to testicular atrophy (shrinkage of the testicles). In healthy veins within the scrotum, one-way valves allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. In a varicocele, these valves do not function properly, causing blood to pool enlarging the vein. Some experts believe that the raised temperature that results from the pooled blood in these blocked veins can decrease sperm count and motility of sperm and increase the number of deformed sperm. In fact, the incidence of varicoceles increases to 30 percent in couples who cannot have children.
Approximately 15% of men have varicoceles, or enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum, usually in the left testicle. When a man is experiencing a low sperm count, doctors may recommend varicocele repair, a procedure that repairs enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum surgically or via percutaneous embolization, a nonsurgical procedure using a catheter.
Though it’s not clear, a varicocele may interfere with sperm production by interrupting blood flow, overheating the scrotum, or causing blood to back up in the veins supplying the testes. Though there is little proof that fertility improves after varicocele embolization, some doctors believe the surgery may improve semen quality.
Source: Nordica Lagos Blog