Sometimes it can be difficult to know the difference between fiction and fact. We’ve addressed some of the more common male fertility myths below:
MYTH: Wearing briefs causes infertility.
FACT: While underwear choices don’t play a role in fertility, heat does. Restrictive clothing that increases body temperature can have a negative impact on sperm. Testicles hang outside the body for a reason- sperm cannot withstand high temperatures. Avoidance of hot tubs or other unnecessary exposure to high temperatures is necessary to optimize sperm quality.
MYTH: Once a man has a vasectomy, he is sterile for life.
FACT: Vasectomies are indeed reversible. Surgery to reconnect the vas deferens is available, as are procedures to extract sperm directly from the testicles (TESA procedure).
MYTH: Paternal age doesn’t affect fertility.
FACT: While it is true that men make new sperm every day, even late in life, the quality of the sperm produced can be poorer. After age 40, testosterone levels tend to decline, and lower motility and a higher number of abnormally shaped sperm can be present. In addition, the older the man the higher the risk for disorders such as autism and schizophrenia in their offspring.