Perhaps your sperm could use a reefer

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OTTAWA, Ont. – Sure, you may be keeping a close eye on engine temperatures, and the cool air pumping out of the reefer on your trailer, but it turns out that shouldn’t be the only temperature-related concerns you need to be worried about.

It appears that professional drivers might suffer from low sperm counts and abnormal sperm because their crotches get too hot, according to a report published in the journal Human Reproduction.

French researchers recently found that men may face a rise in scrotal temperatures as they sit in a vehicle, even though sperm thrives in a cooler environment.

The research involved nine men who had special thermometers attached to each scrotum. Temperatures were measured while walking and while driving for 160 minutes without air conditioning. After 20 minutes at the wheel, mean scrotal temperature rose to 35.5 C from 24.2 C, and after two hours it was as high as 36.2 C. (For some reason, the temperature of the left scrotum while they were walking was 1.7 C higher, while the right scrotum was 2.2 C higher while they were driving.)

“It does seem that men who have less sperm count tend to be more affected,” says Dr. Norman Barwin, president of the board of directors of the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada. “We know that heat and friction from sitting on a (driver’s) seat can lower sperm motility.

“It certainly is one of the occupational complications of that kind of profession.”

In fact, that’s one of the reasons that his clinic asks patients about their occupations. Professional truckers experiencing reproductive problems are often offered the suggestion that they use an air cushion.

“Once you get the circulation going (sperm motility) improves,” Barwin adds. n

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