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Hot baths, hot tubs or whirlpool baths may make a man feel good, but they may harm his fertility, according to a new University of California San Francisco study reported in the January-February 2007 issue of “International Braz J. Urol,” the official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology.
The study of a small group of infertile men led by Paul J. Turek, MD, a professor in the UCSF Department of Urology and director of the UCSF Male Reproductive Health Center and colleagues showed cessation of exposure to wet heat can drastically increase total motile sperm account, the effect lasting beyond three months in 45% of infertile men, indicating that the affected sperm production was reversible.
“It has been believed for decades that wet heat exposure is bad for fertility, as an old wives’ tale, but this effect has rarely been documented,” said Turek. “We now have actual evidence to show patients that these recreational activities are a real risk factor for male infertility.”