For one reason or another, men take great pride in their sperm cells. Whether it’s having them or the number of sperm that they hold, men very dearly cherish the swimming little creatures that they carry below their belts. Call it a weird macho thing (because let’s face it, that’s exactly what it is), but it goes without saying that sperm is ultra important for more reasons than one. Of course, sperm is necessary for fertility and making babies, but in addition to that, sperm is also incredibly healthy. Sperm has enough highly concentrated protein that the human body could live solely on, which makes you wonder about what the possibilities are if you so happen to be stranded on an island with nothing else to eat. Now, no one is saying we should start eating sperm, but there are enough nutrients in sperm that it is not the worst thing someone can do. Maybe it is a little unsanitary, but it is not the most unhealthy thing we can put in our mouths. To put that in less gross terms, sperm is something that men should cherish because it is such an important source of fertility. With sperm being such a valued commodity, maybe men should spend a little more time taking care of them.
Now, no one is saying we should start eating sperm, but there are enough nutrients in sperm that it is not the worst thing someone can do. Maybe it is a little unsanitary, but it is not the most unhealthy thing we can put in our mouths. To put that in less gross terms, sperm is something that men should cherish because it is such an important source of fertility. With sperm being such a valued commodity, maybe men should spend a little more time taking care of them. What many people in the world do not realize is that sperm is an extremely fragile organism in the male body and there are a number easy of ways to damage them. Some ways boil down to the most basic of human activities that we do every day without realizing it, and others involve little-known facts of specialty exertions. Check out our list of the 15 ways of damaging sperm without even knowing it, and see the activities that are harmful to sperm cells.
15. Hot Tubs
Everyone loves soaking themselves inside of a nice hot bath following a long day’s work, but men should probably slow down on the number of times a week that they spend in a hot tub. The same goes for spending time in a sauna, a jacuzzi, or anything containing hot water. As soothing as running a hot bath may feel, there is such thing as keeping temperatures too high and that is doubly true in reference to what it does to sperm. Exposure to hot temperatures obviously heat up the testicles as well and when the testicles are overheated, then sperm cells will be killed off faster than your favorite character in a George R. R. Martin novel. The few sperm that do survive won’t be able to swim as well or as fast as they would’ve before taking damage from a killer sauna. Studies have shown that this is a prime cause for low sperm counts. Any men who plan to have a lot of children one day should take a break from their beloved hot tub baths.
14. Smoking J
Speaking of stress relievers, a go-to stress reliever for most people nowadays happens to be marijuana. Many people feel the need to smoke up a doobie when stress gets them down and the effects turn out rather euphoric. However, as most great things in life, weed comes at a heavy cost. Many people immediately assume that the only downside to marijuana is that it might make us a little lazy and we may neglect work/school in favor of chilling on the couch high out of our minds. Believe it or not, one of the bigger downsides to weed is how it can impair a man’s sperm. Studies have shown that weed can cause damage to sperm function, sperm count, and male fertility as a whole. Any man planning to have kids should probably put the blunt down ASAP. In fact, anyone planning to have kids should stop buying weed anyway and save that money on their future child’s college tuition.
13. Nonstick Cookware
We all love it when we’re cooking our pancakes or our eggs and we don’t have to worry about anything sticking to the pan. That’s a big reason why many of us prefer to buy non stick pans and other types of nonstick cookware. Unfortunately, men should start being more selective about the nonstick products that they use. The same can be said for everyone else, considering the kind of chemicals and acids that make nonstick products so, well, non sticky. For men that may be worried about having functioning sperm, they should stay away from these products. These types of products (especially those manufactured by Teflon) are coated with perfluoroalkyl acids which scientific findings have shown are linked with lowering sperm count to half of the amount for the average man. Instead of using nonstick pans, maybe men should stick to using stainless steel or using oil on pans to avoid anything sticking (that is, if they care about their sperm).
It almost goes without saying that stress is going to have a negative effect on the body in all sorts of ways. Sperm isn’t exempt from the body’s negative breakdowns from stress, as stress can actually degrade sperm quality. This is a little ironic considering how ejaculation has been proven to be a positive stress reliever. However, if that stress isn’t relieved and happens to hang heavy over a man’s head, it can affect the way the sperm appears, it’s concentration, and it’s ability to fertilize an egg. Recent studies have told us that the stress that a father feels before becoming a father can be passed onto their sperm and resurface in their offspring in the form of anxiety or depression. Anyone planning on some baby-making with their spouse anytime soon should make sure that they maintain a life that is as stress-free as possible before making a baby. To feel better from a stressful day, it is highly recommended by doctors to, well, find a way to ejaculate. As the saying goes, you should always trust your doctor.
One would assume that everyone would be aware of the negative effects of neglecting to live a healthy lifestyle. These negative aspects can affect the body in several different ways, but sometimes, it’s not that simple, particularly when it comes to the state of a man’s sperm. One would think that if sperm deteriorates due to gaining weight, then the solution would be to lose weight, but the same problems arise in a vice versa scenario. Being overweight has been associated with having low testicular function, as well as low sperm count. Obesity is also associated with sexual dysfunction. On the flip side, being underweight can lead to decreased fertility and sperm count. This is when it all gets confusing. There’s no concrete middle ground for a weight class that produces healthy sperm, but being too heavy and too small both produce equal amounts of consequences for sperm. The most important thing to remember in ensuring a healthy sperm count is to maintain a healthy weight.
10. Fresh Produce
This is the element that can be ultra confusing for some. If a man by any chance did decide to lose a few pounds to guarantee a successful baby-making session, then the weight loss process would likely include a diet of fruits and vegetables. However, some people aren’t aware of just how unhealthy some of the so-called healthiest foods may be. What many people don’t know is that much of the fruits and vegetables that they buy every day are laced with pesticides. The same kind of pesticides used to kill pest insects. It’s never a good sign when the same kind of pesticide (essentially, bug spray) that is lethal enough to kill bugs is used on our food. In addition to all of the other negative effects that eating the stuff can have on human bodies, in the long run, pesticides can kill off sperm cells. Maybe it’s a good time to go organic or, at the very least, get in the habit of washing our fruits under a sink before eating it.
9. Wearing Pants
As if it wasn’t confusing enough trying to decide what a man should take out of his life for the sake of protecting his sperm, looks like we might have to add pants to the list. At this point, we might as well add breathing as well. To be fair, pants, in general, aren’t destroying sperm and no one is recommending that men walking around without pants is the key to healthy sperm. What is being said among the science community is that tight pants are an issue for men. Wearing jeans that basically hold a man’s lower thigh region in a choke hold aren’t healthy for sperm or anything below the belt. In addition to low sperm count, wearing overly tight pants can lead to bladder weaknesses, urinary tract infections, and even fungal infections. The same can be said for underpants, as tightly pressed briefs produce warm temperatures against the body, which can damage sperm production.
Now this one is just plain cruel. Everyone loves bacon and there are plenty of men in the world who claim it as their favorite meat. Little do men know that this meat is slowly killing their sperm off. While the research conducted to prove such a phenomenon isn’t valid enough (yet) to confirm a cause and effect correlation, studies have shown that men who regularly consume processed meats like bacon have weaker sperm quality than those who don’t. This finding is a complicated one to break down seeing as there seems to be more research that needs to be done to prove a significant correlation, but what findings have been made are those claiming that the types of meat that men consume can affect the ability for their sperm to fertilize eggs. It’s recommended that men cut down on how much bacon they eat, and that men who consume chicken or fish as their meat of choice will have better semen quality.
We already discussed how deadly smoking marijuana can be for a man’s sperm, but as far as smoking goes, it still isn’t the worst choice a man can use to kill their sperm. The worst choice in regards to the damage that can be caused by smoking would be the use of cigarettes. Cigarettes in itself are more lethal for the body than smoking marijuana, considering all of the nicotine and other chemicals used to make cigarettes so addictive. Yet, it also proves more lethal towards how it affects sperm. Cigarettes lower sperm count as well as slow down the motility of sperm. As hard as it is to kick a smoking habit these days, it’s recommended that a man planning to have a baby should stop smoking for at least 3 months before trying to conceive with their partner. Sperm production takes at least 3 months to finalize and so anything that a man does or doesn’t do to their body today, will show up in their semen for another 3 months.
6. Canned Food
Everyone has a particular canned food good that is near and dear to their heart. Whether that entails a side dish of spinach or a can of beans after falling on hard times, canned foods are always delicious and will never go out of style. Unfortunately, most metal cans are lined with a chemical called BPA that may contaminate the food inside. The FDA has said in the past that BPA is safe at extremely low levels, but it doesn’t hurt to take precautions, especially considering the studies that have proven what BPA does to a man’s sperm quality. In addition to lowering sperm count, studies have found that BPA has been linked to decreasing a man’s sex drive and increasing the chances of erectile dysfunction and ejaculation difficulties. It’s been recommended that men lower the number of canned foods they consume in favor of buying and cooking fresh ingredients from scratch.
One of the best parts of a long shower is taking advantage of the luxurious shampoo process, and lathering it throughout the hair. Not only is it a strangely relaxing thing to do, but it also keeps hair squeaky clean and smelling dashingly fragrant. Except for the problem here is that this is exactly the word that men need to watch out for before using shampoo: fragrant. Numerous hair care products in the world are filled with toxic chemicals that negatively affect the body in a number of ways. One of those toxic chemicals being phthalates, which are not usually listed on shampoo labels but can usually be found under the anonymous pseudonym, “fragrance.” Phthalates have been associated with lowering sperm counts as well as damaging the motility and the shape of sperm, along with causing other abnormalities in sperm. Another ingredient men need to watch out for on shampoo labels is lead acetate, which also lowers sperm count.
A lot of men have heard how drinking too much Mountain Dew can negatively affect their sperm cells, but have chosen to ignore it as a myth or a pseudoscience. The truth is, as shocking as it may sound, this kind of finding is a little more than a pseudoscience. In fact, it is not just drinking Mountain Dew that can affect a man’s sperm count. It is drinking soda pop in general. In one study conducted with mice, it showed that the male mice who were given high samples of sugar were more likely to die and less likely to produce children. Studies show that the average human man consumes about 150 calories of soda a day. That is about six teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis. All of that sugar consumption can lead to a greater likelihood of diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and of course a lower sperm count.
Before anyone reading this starts to panic and starts chucking their phones out of the window, rest at ease knowing that it is not necessarily phones themselves that are killing sperm. It has more to do with where we put our phones than the phones themselves. The main threat in placement is when a male puts their phones in their pockets. We all do it and there is probably no place that’s more convenient to put our phones than in our pockets. However, studies have shown that when a phone is kept in a man’s pants pocket so close to their genitals, it decreases sperm count and any surviving sperm will have damaged DNA. Radiation exposure from phones has been linked to an 8 percent reduction of sperm mobility and 9 percent reduction in sperm viability. Dr. Joel Moskowitz went on confirm to the Daily Mail that there’s enough evidence here that proves men should keep phones away from their genitals, and that these studies are the first step towards educating the world about the potential dangers of cell phones.
Many of the sperm damaging activities on this list are so embedded into our daily routines that we can’t help but do them every day. In other cases, like with this entry, some things are literally impossible to avoid even if we tried. We can’t stop the aging process, but the aging process in itself is killing our sperm cells. Sperm in male bodies deteriorates the older they get. There was once a time where it was presumed that men could produce sperm well into their elderly years and while that is still true, research tells us that it isn’t that simple. Yes, old men can still shoot out sperm faster than a pubescent teenage boy on prom night, but the sperm at that stage in their life isn’t as strong as it used to be. Sperm in older men has been linked to disorders like autism and schizophrenia. Meaning that the older that men get, the more likely that their sperm will produce children with any of the aforementioned disorders. Which means that if men plan to produce a healthy baby, their best chances of doing so would be before they reach their 30s.
This is the moment where every man viewing this list with a computer on their lap violently shoves it off to protect their little buddies. A study used 7 samples from 29 healthy sperm donors separated into two containers. For 4 hours, one container was placed under a laptop (it may be important to note that it was a laptop transmitting WiFi) while the other one wasn’t. Twenty-five percent of the laptop sperm stopped swimming while the same happened to only 13 percent of sperm from the other group. Meanwhile, 9 percent of the laptop sperm showed DNA damage opposed to the 3 percent in the other group. While the scientists did not conclusively state that there is a direct correlation between keeping a laptop on your lap and sperm damage, there was enough evidence that proved further analyses should be taken. It’s also worth noting that sperm outside of the body is more susceptible to damage than sperm inside the body. But just in case, guys should spend a little less than 4 hours with a laptop on their laps.