Sauna Demolishes Male Fertility | The Kevin Bass Show

Key Takeaways

  • Sauna use just 2x per week will kill off 75% of sperm and reduce motility in the remaining sperms by almost 1/3
  • Normal sperm function and count may take 6 months post-last sauna exposure to be restored
  • Limitations: we don’t know the effects on men with reduced sperm function/count at baseline; it’s unclear whether effects would be different with more sauna use; the study was done on older men so we don’t know about effects on younger men
  • Sauna use has been all the rage lately, make sure you’re planning use in accordance with your family planning

Introduction

Kevin Bass is an M.D./Ph.D. student. His goal through his podcast is to provide an analysis of the complex world of health and wellness. He reviews common myths, and current trends, and debunks bad science. Check out thedietwars.com.

In this episode, Kevin Bass reviews a study breaking down just how bad sauna is for sperm concentration, count, and motility.

Host: Kevin Bass (@kevinbass)

Study Information

 Results & Analysis

  • Continuous sauna use affects sperm count and function in men
  • Scrotal hyperthermia leads to alterations in spermatogenesis
  • Sperm count dropped 75% after 3 months of sauna use
  • Sperm motility decreased by 1/3
  • Negative effects persisted at 3 months post sauna use
  • No changes in sex hormones (FSH, LH, testosterone, estrogen; though there is a decrease in inhibin-B) at any timepoint
  • Effects reversed at 6 months after discontinuation of sauna

Limitations

  • Unclear whether findings are due to a rise in testicular heat specifically or body temperature as a whole
  • Men in the study had normal sperm count and function – it’s unclear what the impact would be on men with reductions in baseline function and count
  • The effects of higher volume (i.e., more than 2x per week) are also unknown
  • Effects on younger men are also unknown
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