Monday, March 05, 2007
A three-year pilot study analyzing data from infertile men who had been repeatedly exposed to high water temperatures through hot tubs, Jacuzzis or hot baths implicates wet heat exposure in lowered fertility in males, according to Paul J. Turek, MD, lead investigator in the study, a professor in the UCSF Department of Urology and director of the UCSF Male Reproductive Health Center.
The good news is that the effect may not be irreversible:"We now have actual evidence to show patients that these recreational activities are a real risk factor for male infertility."
Although this was only a pilot study, Turek said, "these activities can be comfortably added to that list of lifestyle recommendations and ‘things to avoid’ as men attempt to conceive."
There's a new word for all you guys who smoke in your Jacuzzis. You know who you are ... and now your urologist does too.The study’s 11 patients were identified on the basis of repeated exposure to wet heat and were asked to cease that exposure for three or more months. Five of the patients (45 percent) responded favorably to the cessation of heat exposure and had a mean increase in total motile sperm counts of 491 percent after three to six months. This increase was largely driven by a statistically significant increase in sperm motility among responders, from a mean of 12 percent at the start of the study to 34 percent post-intervention.
Of the six patients who did not see an increase in sperm count or motility, tobacco use emerged as a possible differentiating factor. Five of those patients were chronic tobacco users with a significant smoking history, in contrast to only three occasional smokers in the responder group. No other potential gonadotoxic factors – harmful to the male gonad – were identified.