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Effect of Heat on the Sperm Production.

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Effect of Heat on the Sperm Production.

Are you aware that contraception is a multi-billion dollar industry? A lot of females use different types of physical and chemical methods for contraception that are not only costly, but are also hazardous for health in the long term. However, experts suggest that using simple remedies such as a hot shower or exposure to steam can successful reduce the number of viable sperms in the male ejaculate and can act as a natural contraceptive method.

On the contrary, if you and your partner are looking to conceive, this is definitely something you should watch out for. In order to learn more about the mechanisms responsible for interfering with normal spermatogenesis, it is very important to learn more about the normal physiology of male reproductive tract.


Temperature of Testes

Testes are anatomically located outside of the abdominal cavity and away from the body-wall in a loosely hanging scrotal sac. This arrangement provides an effective method of high maintenance thermal regulatory system, which helps in controlling the temperature of testes slightly below the normal body temperature. This difference in the temperature is possible because of the presence of some special structural components of the male reproductive machinery such as:


Small Testicular Temperature Changes

Slight fluctuations in testicular temperature are considered normal. These changes are a result of environmental or external factors; such as:


Effect of Heat on The Sperm Production

Exposure to sudden or severe heat has a deleterious effect on the process of spermatogenesis (or sperm production). Latest research and clinical studies suggests that constant exposure to heat can damage the testes permanently and can lead to impaired fertility. It is been estimated that men who are exposed to intense heat for most part of their day such as individuals who work in furnaces, mining industry etc. have impaired fertility (1). One example how heat can compromise testicular functioning can be derived from Cryptorchidism – a condition in which the testes in males fail to descend in the scrotal region just before the birth (and remains in the abdominal cavity).

Scientists believe that the production of sperms is a sensitive process which is significantly affected by exposure to high temperatures.


What Happens When Testicular Temperature Is Raised?

Here is how high testicular temperature impedes the process of spermatogenesis (2):


Heat As Reliable Contraceptive?

According to a new study, male participants who were provided with the heat treatment (in the form of steam baths or hot showers) manifested significant decrease in the production of sperm i.e. less than 15 million sperms per milliliter. Additionally, contraception in males through heat treatment can be achieved by following methods,

But it is imperative to keep in mind that:



  1. Thonneau, P., Bujan, L., Multigner, L., & Mieusset, R. (1998). Occupational heat exposure and male fertility: a review. Human reproduction, 13(8), 2122-2125.
  2. Lue, Y., Sinha Hikim, A. P., Wang, C., Im, M., Leung, A., & Swerdloff, R. S. (2000). Testicular Heat Exposure Enhances the Suppression of Spermatogenesis by Testosterone in Rats: The “Two-Hit” Approach to Male Contraceptive Development 1. Endocrinology, 141(4), 1414-1424.
  3. Lue, Y. H., Sinha Hikim, A. P., Swerdloff, R. S., Im, P., Taing, K. S., Bui, T., … & Wang, C. (1999). Single Exposure to Heat Induces Stage-Specific Germ Cell Apoptosis in Rats: Role of Intratesticular Testosterone on Stage Specificity 1. Endocrinology, 140(4), 1709-1717.
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