The Sauna Lowers your Sperm Count
Sometimes, nothing feels better than sitting in a hot sauna. It’s a great way to relax and unwind, gives one a sense of wellbeing and helps clear toxins, pathogens and impurities from the body. Some cultures naturally take to the sauna, particularly the Scandinavians such as the Swedes, Norwegians and Fins. In some places, it’s even a social affair. But if you like the sauna and you and your partner are trying to conceive, you may want to hold off. A new Finnish study finds that frequent sauna visits lower your sperm count, but only temporarily. Participants in their 30’s went to the sauna two times a week over three months, at 15-minute intervals apiece. Not only did these visits lower the men’s sperm counts, they remained low for three months afterward.Sperm returned to normal levels six months on. The reason the testicles descend from the body is that sperm is produced at a lower temperature. Those men who have undescended testicles naturally encounter fertility problems, as the testes are not kept at the proper temperature.
During visits to the sauna the men’s scrotal temperature increased by 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). There is a difference between sperm count and overall fertility. Though this study proved that sauna visits lower sperm count, whether or not it affects overall male fertility is still at issue, experts say. Due to this, sauna visits are not a viable form of birth control. Heat exposure forces DNA to be packed into sperm cells differently. The mitochondria, which powers the cell is also affected. Therefore, men who are concerned about fertility should cease using the sauna, hot tub or taking hot baths. Sitting with a hot laptop in one’s lap for an extended period may also affect fertility, a previous study has found. Still, some experts believe that there isn’t enough evidence in this study to advise men without fertility problems to cease going. Only 10 men with fertility issues were utilized for this study. More research is needed, experts say.