Male fertility not affected so much by lifestyle choices


According to new research, lifestyle advice given to men diagnosed with infertility should be radically revised.

Today’s guidelines provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence advise doctors to warn infertile men to avoid smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs. Men are also told to watch their weight and avoid the tighty whiteys. But a team of scientists from the Universities of Manchester ad Sheffield have found that these common lifestyle choices end up making very little difference to male fertility.

Tight underwear makes little difference

The new study recruited 2249 men from around the UK and asked them to fill out a survey. Results compared the ejaculate samples of low fertility guys to a control group.

The samples with a low number of sperm were 2.5 times more likely to have originated from men who had testicular surgery. Low swimmers were twice as likely to come from black men and 1.5 times more likely to be manual labor, wear tight underwear, and not have children. Drugs, alcohol and smoking made no difference. Neither did weight or BMI.

“Despite lifestyle choices being important for other aspects of our health, our results suggest that many lifestyle choices probably have little influence on how many swimming sperm they ejaculate. For example, whether the man was current smoker or not was of little importance. The proportion of men who had low numbers of swimming sperm was similar whether they had never been a smoker or a smoker who was currently smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day,” said Dr. Andrew Povey, from the University of Manchester’s School of Community Based Medicine.

Still, don’t be stupid about health

No one should be thoughtless about the choices they make. “It’s important that men continue to follow sensible health advice and watch their weight, stop smoking and drink alcohol within sensible limits,” said Professor Nicola Cherry, University of Alberta.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Human Reproduction


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