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‘Rise in temperature will affect male fertility’

Published : Dec 11, 2015, 6:41 am IST
Updated : Dec 11, 2015, 6:41 am IST

The rising temperatures in the city caused by climate change will have a major impact on men as with the increase in temperature, their fertility decreases, claimed medical experts.

Representational image
 Representational image

The rising temperatures in the city caused by climate change will have a major impact on men as with the increase in temperature, their fertility decreases, claimed medical experts.

“The temperature of Mumbai is comparatively better than other western regional states. But the fluctuation in temperature is a concern. If there is a long span of days when the temperature is above 27 degree Celsius, then it affects the fertility in men as the sperm count drops,” said Dr Suchitra Pandit, gynecologist and obstetrician, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Addressing the concern, Dr Hetal Parekh, consultant fertility physician, from Hiranandani Hospital said, “We have seen that in winter months, men are more fertile than in summer months due to the difference in temperature. So, if winters also become warmer, the fertility in men will be adversely affected thus resulting in low reproduction rate.”

In the past one decade, the western coast of India has been witnessing more incidents of heat waves. And on certain days, the mercury level goes up to 38 degree Celsius. “The rising occurrences of heat waves have become more manifested in the past one-decade,” said Subimal Ghosh, climate change expert from department of civil engineering, IIT-B.

As per the medical experts, excessive exposure to heat results in decrease in sperm count in men. “Rise in temperature, will also affect the sexual behavior of people. It will decrease the production of sperm and increase its mortality,” said Dr Parekh.

In the last 20 years, the doctors said that they have observed a decrease in sperm count by over 20-25 per cent.

Experts across the city have said that they witnessed a rise in the number of cases of infertility among men. And one of the reasons for it is the continuous exposure to heat. This could further aggravate in the long run with more rise in temperature.”

For the effective production of sperms, the scrotum needs to be two degrees cooler than the body’s ideal temperature 98 degree Fahrenheit. But it is a long run process. Shift in temperature for a day does not affect the sperm formation as it takes 10 weeks for a single sperm to reach maturity,” said Dr Sudeshna Ray, coordinator, department of gynaecology and obstetrics at Jaslok Hospital.

Also, according to an article published in the conversation.com, an independent, not-for-profit media outlet, in 2015, “Many developing countries, such as India, already experience hotter climates than the United States. As a result, these developing countries are more likely to feel the effects of climate change, which could include worse fertility outcomes.”

Doctors state Other causes Doctors also highlighted other factors that are leading to infertility among men in the city. “Men should avoid wearing tight pants that increases the temperature of the scrotum. Also, people tend to keep their laptops on their lap for hours that also raises the temperature of the scrotum. Also, while driving for long distances, they should take breaks in between to adjust their body temperature,” said Dr Pandit.