Things Men Do to Harm Their Fertility (Without Knowing It)

Male infertility accounts for roughly one third of the infertility cases in the United States. While it’s not an uncommon issue, there are many things men might be doing to make their fertility issues worse. Take a look at some of these common issues (that most men don’t know about!):

  1. Being overweight. Extra weight can have a negative effect on sperm quantity and quality, as well as increase the potential father’s risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Losing a few pounds can help in all of these areas, including fertility.
  2. Being active in sports. While the health benefits of being active far outweigh the negatives, there are some considerations to take. Those playing contact sports, such as rugby or football, should be careful to wear protective gear to avoid injury to the testicles. Cycling enthusiasts have been shown to have lower sperm counts than their non-cycling counterparts, too.
  3. Drinking too much coffee. A study in 2014 showed that men who drank two or more cups of strong coffee a day had more difficulty conceiving a child through In Vitro Fertilization. The study wasn’t able to explain why; the researchers “found that neither caffeine nor alcohol affected the number of sperm, shape or how well they swum.” Regardless, those trying to conceive may want to cut back.
  4. Inhaling household dust. This isn’t just a trick to get men into cleaning. The dust in your home could contain chemicals, like phthalates and fire-retardant chemicals, that are harmful to fertility. This is especially true in older homes. Cleaning with a HEPA-filtered vacuum and wiping down dusty surfaces with a damp cloth should help eliminate harmful dust.
  5. Holding your laptop in your lap. While it might be the handiest place for your laptop, it could be raising your body temperature too much. Some laptops run extremely hot, venting the hot air from the processor through vents. The heat from your laptop can actually harm your sperm. The best thing to do it use a lap desk to protect your testicles from the heat or use your laptop while sitting at a desk.

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