TUESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- When a man drinks to excess, smokes or otherwise behaves unhealthily, it probably won't damage his sperm, a new British study contends.
But, fertility experts who reviewed the new report, published June 12 in Human Reproduction, weren't in full agreement with the findings.
"I am concerned that this limited and isolated study will convey the wrong message to couples desiring to become parents," said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of the Center of Male Reproductive Health at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
The study included more than 2,200 men from 14 fertility clinics around the United Kingdom who completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyle habits. The researchers compared this information to the levels of swimming sperm ejaculated by the men.
Some factors did impact sperm health. For example, men who had low levels of swimming sperm were 2.5 times more likely to have had prior testicular surgery, twice as likely to be black, and 30 percent more likely to have manual labor jobs, not wear boxer shorts (vs. briefs or no underwear), or not to have previously conceived a child.
On the other hand, the researchers also found that men's weight and their use of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs had little effect on levels of swimming sperm.
"Despite lifestyle choices being important for other aspects of our health, our results suggest that many lifestyle choices probably have little influence on how many swimming sperm [men] ejaculate," Dr. Andrew Povey, from the University of Manchester's School of Community Based Medicine, said in a university news release.
The findings suggest that lifestyle advice given to infertile men needs to be changed, the researchers added.
They noted that current U.K. guidelines instruct doctors to warn infertile men about the dangers of smoking, drinking, drug use, being overweight and wearing ti
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