Male Fertility Myths and Misunderstandings Resolved

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on February 22nd, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There has always been a lot of magical thinking about fertility.

Everyone thinks that they understand the birds and the bees, but when it comes down to it, pretty much every person has at least a couple of dangerous misconceived notions about fertility.

In this article, we'll correct some common fertility myths, provide helpful information, and clear the air about male fertility!

Having Sex Every Day Doesn't Greatly Improve Fertility

It is commonly held that to maximize the odds of pregnancy couples need to have sex every single day. While this can be fun for many couples, it's important to understand two factors: The Lifespan of Sperm and the Fertility Window.

First, because sperm can survive in a woman's body for 2-3 days, the rule of thumb is that having sex every other day is sufficient to keep high volumes of active sperm ready for impregnation.

Second, the fertility window is the period in which you should be most concerned with maximizing sexual contact. Having sex during the five to six days before ovulation provides the highest odds of fertilization by far.

Visual Assessment of Ejaculate is a Poor Indicator of Fertility

It's a commonly held belief that if a man's ejaculate looks normal, that means that his sperm is healthy.

This is a terrible way to judge fertility. Every load of ejaculate contains 15-200 million sperm.

The health of the sperm is among the most essential means of fertility, which can only be determined via sperm analysis.

Just because you have a high sperm count, that does not mean that your sperm is adequate for reproduction, though relatively clear ejaculate is a sign of low sperm count, this only doesn't tell the whole story.

Testosterone Supplements Suppress Fertility

One of the most significant issues with the underground use of Testosterone Supplements is that guys aren't taught precisely what is happening to their bodies.

There is a misconception among many that Testosterone can increase sperm count just as it increases strength and libido. This is not the case. Sperm production is the result of the actions of Testosterone Precursors.

When Testosterone is introduced from an outside source, this signals the brain to produce a lower volume of these precursors, which can have a drastic effect on fertility over time. Luckily, quitting Testosterone Supplements restores sperm count.

Marijuana Use Is Not Correlated with Impaired Fertility

Marijuana has been mischaracterized for generations. One of the more fascinating myths about weed is that it makes it harder to get pregnant. A study published in 2017 analyzed a variety of factors associated with couples attempting to conceive naturally.

Participants filled out surveys every 2-12 months. One of the questions was whether couples had smoked marijuana in the two months before their periodic questionnaires.

Statistical analysis showed that marijuana smoking had no significant impact on the couples' ability to conceive.

Does a Man's Choice In Underwear Affect His Fertility?

Frequently, ideas derived from common sense don't have much predictive power in reality. While it is true that sperm production relies on the testes having a slightly lower ambient temp than the rest of the body, many people carry the misinformed belief that the type of underwear that a man wears affects his overall fertility.

They feel that snugger underwear presses the testes closer to the body, causing the temperature of the testicles to increase, thus reducing fertility.

Studies have shown that a man's choice of underwear bears no significant relationship to his sperm county. Merely wear what makes you feel most comfortable!

Too Much Time in the Hot Tub Can Reduce Fertility

In many cases, there is truth to commonly held beliefs about fertility, even if the overall risk associated with the fact is very low.

That's the case with hot tubs. Spending too much time in hot tubs does have a suppressive effect on sperm production.

Ideally, the testicles should be two degrees lower than core body temperature to maximize sperm production.

Spending time in the hot tub can lead to a modest decrease in sperm count of around 2%.

For the vast majority of men, this decrease is negligible, but for men that are struggling to conceive, avoiding hot tubs is one of some small steps that guys can take to boost their fertility rate.

Poor Sleeping Habits Can Have a Strong Impact on Fertility

Our bodies thrive when we get the sleep we need every night—for most people, 7-9 hours of rest is optimal. Sleeping less than six hours per night can have dramatic effects on hormone production.

Concerning fertility, such restlessness can lead to a drop in the fertility of around 40% per menstrual cycle. If you're a man looking to have a child, don't lose sleep over the small things, just ensure you get enough sleep in the first place!

Alcohol Consumption Lowers Sperm Count

For any guy that's had trouble getting it up when he was drunk, it should come to no surprise that moderate to heavy alcohol consumption have an increasingly adverse effect not only on erectile function but fertility.

In addition to lowering sperm count, alcohol consumption also led to lower quality sperm, both concerning the size and shape of the sperm.

These effects are pronounced even among men in their prime, as shown by a Danish study of males from 18 to 28.


Boxers or Briefs: Myths and Facts about Men's Infertility

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