Christmas gifts that harm male fertility

The holiday season is still fresh in our memory. We drank wine, ate delicious meals and gave the most wonderful gifts to our loved ones. But there is a but…

Did you know that some of those gifts could affect male fertility? If you want to get pregnant and your boyfriend received gorgeous and tight underwear, a spa gift card, a laptop computer or if he bought an brand new heated seat kit, be worried! Those products that are harmless in appearance may affect sperm production in its development, quality and quantity.

Maybe you found out how it affects male fertility. The problem is not the object itself; it is the fact that it produces heat. To live, sperm must be in an environment where the temperature is a few degrees under the body temperature. That is why men have a scrotum that keeps testicles outside of the body and creates a system of temperature exchange. If a man wears tight underwear that compresses his testicles everyday, takes hot baths, goes in saunas, puts his laptop on his knees and heats his car seat often, he exposes his sperm to what it fears the most, heat.

Of course, we should not ask anyone to stop going to his favorite spa or to avoid heating his seats but, like we heard around Christmas… moderation in all things.

What should I do?
  • About underwear, it is important to remember that some support is good but the testicles should never be squeezed. Compression could affect the quality of sperm. Also, if your testicles are too close to the body, it will increase heat and, again, sperm quality will be affected. It is best to use cotton underwear to allow better air circulation.1
  • Visit a spa now and again but not every day. Take showers rather than baths.1
  • A laptop on your knees can produce a lot of heat. Try to use an insulator between the laptop and your knees or to work on a table or a desk. Is addition, a study conducted in Argentina showed that laptops connected to Wi-Fi can affect the quality of sperm. That is another good reason to avoid putting your laptop on your knees. 2
  • Avoid heating your car seat as much as possible. A German study showed that prolonged heat, even mild, can have an impact on the production of sperm.3

It is important to remember that along with alcohol, tobacco, drugs and junk food, heat blocks the scrotal thermoregulation and reduces male fertility. When you are trying to conceive, you must pay attention to those factors. It is never too late to add a workshop to your Christmas gifts. Seréna offers a workshop on symptothermal methods that will allow you to understand the fertility cycle of women to optimize your chances to conceive and compensate for your fertility-reducing Christmas gifts.

By Élisabeth Brodeur for Seréna

  1. Huyghe, E. et al (2007). Contraceptions masculines non déférentielles : revue de la littérature. Progrès en Urologie, 17, 156-164.
  2. Avendaño, C., Mata, A., Sanchez Sarmiento, C. A., & Doncel, G. F. (2012). Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation. Fertility and Sterility, In Press.
  3. Pačnik, T. (2010). Comment maintenir le sperme de qualité et sain? Online : consulted December 12, 2011

Seréna Québec has refined the Symptothermal Method, a science-based fertility awareness method which empowers (ourselves, not an algorithm) to precisely identify the infertile phase and the fertile phase of each cycle, with 3 signs to observe and interpret in correlation: basal body temperature, cervical fluid and cervix. Users will adapt their sexual practices according to their objective (contraception or trying to conceive) during the fertile window. Recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services and supervised by consulting physicians and scientists, Seréna Québec’s team and certified volunteers provide these services: Information service Teaching-sessions and follow-ups Conferences Training for professionals In these 5 fields of intervention : menstrual cycle’s health natural birth control natural conception return of fertility after birth perimenopause Adress : 6646 Saint-Denis, Montréal, Québec, H2S 2R9 Web site, Facebook page, DirectionCommunicationCoordination  

This week
Ear infections, antibiotics, and prevention

Becoming a parent also means being acquainted with several small infections encountered during our own childhood. Ear infections are numerous and can leave you having lots of questions. We try to respond to the most frequent ones.

My child is often absentminded!

Do you find yourself often repeating phrases like "Hello? Is anyone there?" ? If so, it seems that your child is often absentminded. Here's how to help your distracted children stay concentrated.

A teenager’s bedroom

Your teenager's bedroom is a disaster. You even invented new words to describe this horrendous place where food and clothes seem to blend into a new kind of carpet but your child doesn't seem to mind. What can you do?

My child is smelly!

Your child is now 6 years old. The innocence of childhood still shines brightly in his or her eyes but… they're smelly! When your child gets hot, you scrunch your nose and smell a tinge of sweat. Are they too young for deodorant?