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What 5 Factors Affect Sperm Quality?

We have all heard about the effect of tight pants on your swimmers but what other factors can cause your super sperm to become sickly Sperm? Professor Allan Pacey gives advice on what factors can affect male fertility.

 

 

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Transcript

0:02 Many couples do worry about whether or not there are things in their
0:06 lifestyle or their jobs that affect how fertile a man is or how the
0:14 quality of a man's semen at any one moment in time is. We know that some
0:20 things are detrimental to good sperm production
0:24 so for example men who work around chemicals that are sometimes used in
0:30 paints or glues or printing inks called glycol ethers.
0:34 We know that men who are regularly exposed to these chemicals generally
0:38 produce fewer swimming sperm in comparison to men who have other jobs.
0:43 We also know that men who wear underpants that are too tight
0:49 are more likely to produce less sperm that are swimming well. That's almost
0:57 certainly because the underpants cause the temperature of the testicles
1:03 to rise slightly and we all we know that sperm production requires a cooler
1:09 temperature. We know that men who smoke cannabis or who have a regular
1:17 exposure to cannabis smoke also produce sperm that have poorer size and shape
1:24 and if the size and shape of sperm are wrong
1:28 that means they're less likely to navigate through the woman's body and
1:32 reach the egg.
1:34 There are three things like glycol ethers, temperature and cannabis that we
1:40 know are definitely related to the quality of a man's sperm and will be
1:46 detrimental to his sperm quality being the best that it can be.
1:52 Now there are things that I haven't mentioned that may be a surprise
1:56 so I haven't mentioned alcohol and I think many men feel very guilty about
2:01 whether or not a quick pint on a friday night is going to be detrimental to
2:06 fertility or sperm production.
2:09 Actually the evidence would suggest that if a man drinks within recommended
2:14 guidelines that there's really no harm to his sperm production and that there
2:21 isn't anything to worry about and I think that's important for couples to
2:24 remember because often couples go on a health drive when they're trying to have
2:31 a baby and they cut out lots of things that they think might be detrimental to
2:35 success.
2:36 Men like to have a drink every now and again and if couples cut out alcohol
2:42 completely then that can make a man quite grumpy and when a man gets grumpy
2:49 he doesn't always want to have sex and if you're not having sex then you're
2:53 lowering your chance of having a baby.
2:55 My advice would be drinking socially a glass of wine each night with dinner
3:01 or a beer with dinner is perfectly fine.
3:05 What would be bad is saving up your allowance for Friday night and consuming
3:10 all of your alcohol within one go.
3:12 So binge drinking is bad but a drink with dinner or a drink out with friends
3:18 once or twice a week isn't going to harm sperm production at all, The effects
3:22 of smoking cigarettes cigars or a pipe on sperm production is really more
3:29 complicated than people at first might think. There's not a lot of evidence to
3:34 suggest that by smoking you reduce the number of sperm that are produced by a
3:41 man.
3:42 It seems to be that most of the studies suggest that sperm production
3:45 continues at a similar rate than what we see in non-smokers.
3:51 When we look down the microscope at the semen of men who smoke, at first
3:56 glance we don't see any difference in comparison to non-smokers. The sperm also
4:02 seem to swim
4:03 just as well and they also have a size and shape that's also very similar to that
4:08 of non-smokers
4:09 but if we make more detailed observations of the DNA, the genetic
4:15 component of the sperm
4:17 and that's what sperm are built to carry, the man's DNA to the egg to create
4:23 a new life.
4:24 When we look at the DNA quality of smokers
4:28 it really is less healthy than non-smokers. The DNA is more likely to be
4:33 chopped, damaged or disorganised and the influence of that will be more likely to
4:41 increase the risk of miscarriage and potentially increase the risk of not
4:47 getting pregnant at all because the sperm DNA isn't working correctly. The
4:53 advice to smokers is that you should stop smoking if you're trying to
4:58 conceive
4:59 because we know it takes three months to produce a sperm
5:03 you should stop for a long extended period of time and allow all those
5:07 toxins to get out of your body and allow for new healthy sperm to be produced.
5:13 I would argue more than that you should probably stop in the long term because
5:16 if you are successful and you have a child then smoking around children is
5:21 not something that we would recommend.