London, Aug 28 (UNI) Men not only lose their cool when they sit on a heated car seat but it could also reduce their sperm count, according to scientists.
A recent study found the electric-generated heat emitted by some driver's seats raised body temperature to a point that interfered with the production of healthy sperm.
It follows evidence from previous studies that men who sit in a car for more than three hours a day, or who work as long-distance lorry drivers or long-haul pilots, could be putting their fertility at risk.
The ideal temperature for sperm production is around 35C to 36C (95F to 97F), just below the average core body temperature of 37C (99F).
If temperatures were much higher due to reasons such as men wearing tightly-fitting trousers or underwear, having long, hot baths or spending too long sitting down, sperm counts could fall dramatically, the study claimed.
Some fertility experts believe changes in fashion and lifestyles were partly to blame for falling sperm counts in recent decades.
To test the effects of car seat warmers, researchers at the University of Giessen, Germany, fitted temperature sensors to 30 healthy volunteers who then sat on a car seat fitted with a warmer for 90 minutes.
Within an hour, the temperatures had risen to an average of 37.3C. One man recorded a temperature of 39.7C (103.5F), the Daily Mail reported.
Sitting on an unheated seat also led to slightly raised temperatures of around 36.7C (98.1F), it added.
While the researchers did not test the quality or quantity of the volunteers' sperm, they were worried the effects of car seat heaters might pose a greater risk to fertility than merely sitting for long periods.
Researchers in Holland compared the sperm counts of men who wore tight-fitting underpants for six months and found it fell compared to when they wore loose undergarments.
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