Ask the Experts: What Simple Changes Can Help Men Avoid Fertility Problems?

What Simple Changes Can Help Men Avoid Fertility Problems?

Male infertility is when a man has a health issue that lowers the chances of his female partner's pregnancy. It's most often caused by issues linked to sperm production or sperm delivery.

High temperatures and heat can damage sperm counts in men. With this in mind, men with fertility issues should avoid hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas and electric blankets. Minimizing the amount of alcohol, you drink and not smoking are two additional ways to minimize damage to sperm counts.

I'm often asked if keeping a cell phone in your pocket can cause fertility problems. While there hasn't been any strong data to support the claim, it can cause harm. It's important to avoid doing this when looking to have a child with your partner. The cell waves can be harmful and it's better to be super cautious than to risk damaging sperm levels.

Men should also avoid keeping their laptop computers on their laps! The heat emitting from a laptop can raise the scrotum's overall temperature and harm sperm levels. When playing a contact sport, make sure to wear an athletic cup. Traumatic groin injuries can seriously damage a man's fertility health.

Dr. Tobias Kohler is a urologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has specialty interest and fellowship training in men's health (andrology).