A study has revealed that the regular use of containers, which contain bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical that is used to make certain plastics and resins by men will lead to low sperm count and reproductive productive problem.
The study was conducted by UK’S second largest health and beauty store, Superdrug Store. The company has pharmacies with consultation rooms in over 220 stores, and a further 19 contain nurse clinics.
BPA that is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins are often part of the components used to make containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a United States government agency responsible for protecting public health said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods.
But Superdrug in its finding linked high BPA level to low sperm count. It also said that radiation, narcotics, stress, abstinence from sex, tight underpants, overweight among others caused the reproductive problem.
According to the survey, changing habits will boost sperm count as well as sperm quality and morphology (size and shape), sperm motility (movement), and general reproductive health. It also said that it takes 10 to 11 weeks to produce sperm, so keep that time frame in mind as you make these changes:
Tight Pants or Underwear
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to forgo tight underwear and skinny jeans in favour of boxer shorts and loose pants. One study found that induced testicular hyperthermia (in simple terms, the testes become too hot) caused by wearing extremely tight underwear for 120 consecutive days lead to declines in the number of motile and viable sperm as early as day 20, and overall sperm count by day 34. Over the course of the study, some participants even saw a 100% reduction in sperm count. But don’t worry if tight undergarments are part of your wardrobe: the sperm count and viability of study participants returned to normal 73 days after forgoing the hyperthermia-causing drawers
Another important factor in optimal sperm production is to maintain a healthy weight. In the U.K., about 2% of people are underweight while 67% of men are overweight. Men who have a BMI over 25 can have up to a 22% decline in sperm count, as well as reduced concentration and motility. And those with a BMI over 35 are 19 times more likely to experience low sperm count. On the flip side, men who are underweight (a BMI of less than 18.5) produce 8.6% less semen volume (including a decreased number of normal, motile sperm) and tend to experience reduced sperm motility.
Avoid excessive exposure to potentially harmful chemicals whenever possible – especially bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is often added to plastics in many common items such as water bottles, and the lining of metal food cans to make the plastics more pliable and less brittle. High concentrations of BPA affect sperm motility and function.
PFCs (perfluorochemicals) are commonly found in non-stick pans and many other household items. While their purpose is to repel stains and water, they may be repelling your ability to conceive. PFCs have been shown to both cause a reduction in normal, healthy sperm as well as a decrease in overall sperm count.
Slathering on sunblock protects your skin from harmful rays, but it may not do your sperm count any favours. Chemicals found in sunscreen can reduce sperm count by 33%: Octinoxate alters hormone levels, and oxybenzone slows sperm production. Your best bet is to limit time spent in the sun and wash off sunscreen immediately after coming indoors. Interestingly, cool weather is better overall for sperm quality, which explains why conceptions tend to peak during winter with a high percentage of babies born in fall.
Drinking and Smoking
Too much time spent at the pub can negatively impact your conception efforts. Consuming alcoholic beverages lessens sperm count and concentration as well as the percentage of normal sperm. Smoking cigarettes can harm DNA, prompting sperm mutations. The bonus? Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco is good for general health as well as sperm production..
If you smoke marijuana and want to conceive, it’s time to find another stress reliever. Studies show that lighting up joints can affect the size and shape of sperm and thus inhibit sperm function.
While some people advise “saving up” sperm, it turns out skipping sex for too long can actually reduce the chance of conception. Men with normal sperm counts who are abstinent for 11 to 14 days experienced an 11.7% reduction in motile sperm percentage and a 24.7% reduction in normal sperm. Your best bet? If you’re trying to conceive, don’t go longer than 10 days without having sex.
Cell Phones (Radiation/Heat)
Removing your cell phone from your trouser pocket and carrying it elsewhere can boost your fertility. Studies show that heat or electromagnetic radiation that emanates from mobile phones can reduce sperm motility by 8.1% and viability by 9.1%