Don’t fall for these myths: 5 most common male infertility myths, busted
We’ve previously written about how sperm quality has dropped by 50% worldwide, and listed down several contributing factors that promote male infertility. Today, on the flipside, we’ll be looking at some male infertility myths. Whilst commonly perpetuated by well-meaning but uninformed folks (as well as popular culture, in certain cases), these myths are wholly untrue. Read on to find out more!
#1: Excessive cycling can cause infertility
Cycling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get some exercise in at the same time – and with bike-sharing companies such as Obike and Mobike, it’s easier than ever to cycle. But what about the claims that cycling too much can hurt male fertility?
Some cyclists have reported experiencing genital numbing, as well as erectile dysfunction. This is often linked to the fact that cyclists support most of their body weight on the area between the testes and rectum. However, a study conducted by University College London involving 5,000 male cyclists found that there was no significant association between cycling and infertility. Now that that’s clear – cycle away!
#2: Chemicals can cause infertility
There have been several studies linking chemicals found in everyday objects to low sperm count in men; however, Paul Serhal, fertility consultant and Medical Director of the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health in London dismisses these as inconclusive. According to Paul, the studies aren’t robust enough to prove that chemicals – present in sunblock, non-stick pans, and the upholstery in cars – are indeed the root cause of male infertility. It’s much more likely that other factors such as diet and bad habits (smoking and obesity, for instance) are the underlying factors contributing to male infertility.
#3: The more testosterone you have, the less likely you’ll be infertile
Intuitively speaking, many men think that the more testosterone they have, the higher their sperm count should be. According to a study by the University of Alabama, though, taking testosterone supplements might result in you decreasing your sperm count instead.
According to the study, which was conducted with over 1,500 men, the majority of men who stopped taking supplemental testosterone actually saw an increase in sperm count, rather than a decrease. The sperm concentration present in these men’s semen increased from 1.8 million per milliliter to 34 million per milliliter after they stopped consuming additional testosterone.
What’s the logic behind this? Apparently consuming testosterone signals to your pituitary gland that there’s enough testosterone present in your system. This, in turn, results in your body automatically decreasing its own production of testosterone. Now that you know this – steer clear of those supplements!
#4: Lubricants kill sperm
Yes, the majority of lubricants available on the market contain Nonoxynol-9, which is a spermicide. In addition to this, oil-based lubricants are notoriously known for decreasing the agility of sperm, and they act to slow down your sperm whilst they’re travelling. That having been said, though, there are several sperm-friendly lubricants that you can opt for, such as this one that was invented by a lady sperm physiologist.
#5: Age doesn’t matter in a man’s fertility
We hear all the time about how women’s chances of conceiving plummet with every year that they wait – so much such that this piece of information is ingrained in most people. Ask someone whether it’s the same for men, though, and they’ll likely reply in the negative. It turns out that this isn’t true: countless studies have proven that men experience a decrease in fertility when they hit the age of 35 – it just isn’t talked about as often in mainstream media. Men, time to get moving – you now know that the “ticking clock” is as applicable to you as it is to women!
Free 45 minute fertility consultation
If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, Be Natural is offering a free 45 minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, our fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!