Forecasters expect temperatures in the Kansas City area to hit 100 this week. That’s not ideal for Dr. Dan Gehlbach’s fertility patients. He advises his male clients to stay cool while trying to conceive a baby.
Occasional summertime visits to the pool or lake will not impact your chances for pregnancy, but long-term exposure to high heat can make a difference. For example, extended use of saunas and hot tubs, or vocations that require long hours around extreme temperatures, have been shown to damage sperm.
Sperm is produced in the testicles (testes), which are contained in the scrotum. Testicles function best when the temperature is 1 to 2 degrees lower than the core body temperature.
The Testes Have a Built-in Cooling System
A loose sac divided into two sections, the scrotum hangs behind the penis. The scrotum works like a climate control system for your testes, which are contained inside. Muscles contract to move the scrotum closer to the body for warmth, and relax away from the body to cool off.
Blood vessels, sweat glands and the minimal layer of insulating fat on the testes also work to maintain a cooler temperature. Your actions can assist the body’s self-cooling system to help optimize sperm health.
Dr. Gehlbach recommends the following fertility boosters:
- Avoid hot tubs and saunas.
- If heat exposure is common at your workplace, consider a shift in responsibilities while trying to conceive.
- Use a cooling fan with your laptop computer.
- Seek shade or cooling dips in the pool during the heat of summer.
Even if you beat the heat, you may still have trouble conceiving. The complex male reproductive system, with hormonal, structural and glandular responsibilities, sometimes fails. Dr. Gehlbach works with Kansas City-area men to diagnose and treat male infertility.
Contact us at our Olathe office to schedule a consultation if you suspect a problem with male infertility.