We're rounding out National Infertility Awareness Week with a topic that's rarely talked about: male infertility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 7.5 percent of guys see a fertility specialist during their lifetime. That's over three million men. So it's worth addressing some of the rumors about what does — and what doesn't — contribute to male infertility.
Age Is a Factor
While women are constantly being warned about the difficulty of conceiving as they get older, it turns out that even though men can (and regularly do) father children well after crossing the senior citizen mark, male fertility does decline with age. According to Joseph A. Hill, MD, president and CEO of The Fertility Centers of New England, sperm production decreases in men after age 40 and, certainly, after the big 5-0. Still, unlike women, who undergo menopause, men can conceivably conceive well after that.
Boxers Are Best
The answer to the boxers vs. briefs debate? Well, if you’re trying to conceive, it actually doesn’t matter. “Men should wear whatever they feel most comfortable in,” says Karen Boyle, MD, FACS, director of Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, Sexuality and Aesthetics at Chesapeake Urology Associates. She adds there’s no conclusive evidence to support the idea that tight underwear or pants could do damage by squishing a guy’s man parts or increasing scrotal temperature.
Laptops Can Burn More Than Just Your Lap
Considering laptops can get hot enough to burn their legs, guys might want to keep them away from the crown jewels too. There’s evidence that just like in hot tubs and saunas, the heat from a laptop can raise scrotal temperature, which, again, may interfere with sperm production. While not all experts agree that laptops can cause infertility, Boyle says that if you’re trying to conceive, you may want to keep the laptop on a table or desk just to be safe.
Find out more surprising facts about male infertility on TheBump.com.