Hot Tub Use While Trying to Conceive: Can Heat Affect Male Fertility?

I've heard that men who are trying to conceive should not be in the hot tub because it affects the sperm count. Is this true?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It seems that quality of sperm is more affected by heat than the quantity of sperm. And it also depends upon "how hot," "how long" and other confounding variables. For example, men who tend to use hot tubs or saunas may also perform jobs or athletics which also affect the amount heat to which the testes are exposed. Certain jobs, such as those which expose workers to radiant heat, have been shown to cause subfertility. Excessive vibration, the use of "jockey" shorts instead of boxers and the use of hot tubs have all been proven and disproven as causes of low sperm counts.

It would make sense for men trying to conceive to stop any exposure to heat for prolonged periods of time if fertility is an issue. One older study I came across stated that:

"Semen specimens obtained in New Orleans during the summer had significantly lower sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate, percent motile sperm and motile sperm concentration than samples provided at other times of year. Substantial summer deterioration in semen quality was likely to occur only among men whose work places were probably not air-conditioned. These findings suggest that the deleterious effects of summer heat on spermatogenic cells or on epididymal spermatozoa may reduce male fertility and account, at least partially, for the deficit of spring births in warm climates throughout the world."

Sperm quickly recover from heat exposure, so counts should return to normal within a week of hot tub exposure.

I hope this has helped and best of luck.

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