Avoid saunas and taking hot showers if you want to be a father. That is the frank advice to men from the fertility watchdog in its new guide to having babies published this week.
Men, whose fertility has fallen dramatically in recent years, should try to maximise the amount of sperm they produce by keeping themselves cool. The fall in sperm production has been linked to drinking alcohol.
Up to one in five healthy young men between the ages of 18 and 25 have abnormal sperm counts. Even the sperm they do produce is often of poor quality. In contrast, more than 90% of the sperm of a bull or a ram is normal.
The guide from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority advises men how to boost sperm production: “For maximum sperm production, the testes should be a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of your body. It may help to avoid tight-fitting clothing, saunas and hot showers.”