Sunday 31 August 2008

Heated seats can affect men's fertility

Men who use heated car seats may be putting their fertility at risk, according to research by scientists in Germany.

A study, undertaken at the University of Giessen in Germany and reported in the New Scientist magazine, reveals that heated seats could damage sperm production by raising men’s temperature to unhealthy levels. Scientists tested the effect of heated car seats on 30 healthy men. They were asked to sit on different types of car seats for 90 minutes. The scientists said that on unheated seats the average temperature of the scrotum was 36.7°C, but on the heated car seats the average was 37.3°C. One man’s scrotum was measured at 39.7°C after sitting on a heated seat.

The discovery follows warnings that keeping a mobile phone in a trouser pocket for too long or extensive use of a laptop can also impact on fertility. An optimal temperature of 35-36°C is needed to produce healthy sperm.

Most new cars have heated seats as standard or as an option.

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