In Defense of the Tighty Whitey: Male Infertility Myths Exposed


As a couple, you share interests, memories, goals and personality traits. One thing you might be surprised to learn you have in common: a statistical chance for experiencing infertility. It’s true. Infertility is caused by male factors in 35-40% of cases, and female factors in an equal number of cases.

Infertility is not a woman’s problem, says Dr. Samuel Chantilis of Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates. He sees nearly an equal number of men in his fertility practice, and routinely dispels myths about what does and does not interfere with a couple’s plans to get pregnant.

What Causes Male Infertility?

After the negative pregnancy tests start to pile up, couples experiencing infertility quickly begin to sort fact from fiction. A fertility specialist and/or urologist will help rule out a low sperm count, or problems with how a man’s sperm looks, swims and infiltrates the egg. Semen analysis will diagnose male infertility, and guide your doctor in prescribing an effective treatment plan.

Before you visit a fertility specialist, however, you might consider making some simple changes to maximize your chances for getting your partner pregnant.

Focus on maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and managing stress. Cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol consumption and illegal drugs can also contribute to male infertility.

Studies conclusively link male infertility with other controllable factors. For example, overheating a man’s “nether regions” can impact sperm quality and quantity. But what’s fact, and what’s fiction?

FACT: Saunas and steam rooms increase body temperature to a level that stifles sperm production. Consider skipping this steamy part of your workout routine until the bun is safely in the oven.

FACT: The heat that laptop computers produce can impact sperm production as well. Rearrange your workstation or use a laptop fan to get better returns on your “home business.”

FICTION: Tight-fitting underwear will not interfere with your ability to father a child. Boxers or briefs? Whatever puts your partner in the baby-making mood.

FICTION: Love to cycle? Don’t give it up just because you are trying to conceive. There is no conclusive evidence that long bike rides cause male infertility.

Male infertility is a complex issue, but one that you don’t have to tackle alone. Contact the specialists at Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates to schedule a male fertility workup.


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