An Italian study warned that frequent Sauna visits can lower sperm counts in men. However, the effect is reported to be temporary. The study researchers believe high temperature in Sauna could affect the sperm production that results in decreased sperm counts. The study results have been published in the journal Human Reproduction.
A team of scientists from University of Padova, Italy, assessed ten Finnish men with normal sperm counts. All the participants aged between 30 to 40 years. The participants were asked to visit Sauna for at least 15 minutes, twice weekly, over three months. After the study period, they were asked to stop visiting the Sauna.
When compared to initial sperm counts, decreased levels of sperm counts were found during Sauna visits. The decreased sperm counts remained over months after the participants stopped Sauna sessions. However, the counts become normalized after six months.
It is now proved that exposure of scrotal areas to high temperatures can affect sperm production, according to Dr. Andrew Kramer, Urologist, University of Maryland Medical Center. The anatomical, hanging position of testicles is to escape from the body weight, he added.
Genetic disorders with undescended testicles lead to impaired sperm production and sterility in men, Dr. Kramer said.
However, the sperm count is not always corresponds to men’s fertility. The present study did not assess the participants’ fertility. It is not possible to say whether Sauna affects the men’s fertility, he added.
The researchers assessed the DNA damage and impaired mitochondrial functions in sperms of Sauna visitors. These findings shed some light about the possible mechanisms of impaired sperm production.
Dr. Kramer said additional studies involving a large number of participants are needed to ascertain such results. Further studies are to be conducted on effects of Sauna visits on impaired fertility men and boys who did not attain puberty.