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Home : Contents : Topics Involving Sperm : Impact of Elevated Temperatures

Sperm and Infertility —
Thoughts on Elevated Scrotal Temperature

Sperm production is very sensitive to temperature. All men working on fertility should consider this issue. Some men are mildly aware of this problem and avoid excess temperature around the time of ovulation. It is important to be aware that sperm production takes place over about ten weeks.

One study showed that that men who used a sauna for ten minutes a day for ten days had their sperm count drop by 50% ten weeks later. For optimal sperm production, the testicles should be about three degrees cooler than the rest of the body. That is why they are designed to hang away.

Some causes of elevated scrotal temperature shown to decrease sperm counts can be modified, e.g., tight thermal underwear, bike pants, and use of a portable computer on one's lap. For other causes, it may be impractical to change things, e.g., working as a roofer in the summer or a cook who has to stay in a hot kitchen. Fortunately, technology can usually compensate for low sperm counts.