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Did you know that there are a number of everyday things that people do that could be straight up killing their sperm? Questions like: Does eating walnuts affect it? How about wearing tighty whities? Drinking soda does what to one's nether regions? And does a certain type of workout have negative effects on your quality of Ummm output… We’ll discuss it, plus other everyday things you didn’t realize are destroying your swimmers.

Alright, I’m sure you’ve probably watched a movie and seen where the person awkwardly goes into a sperm bank or fertility clinic and is given a little plastic cup and has to then produce a sample. Not a Costco sampling, you know the type of peace offering I'm talking about. It’s a little nerve-wracking, maybe a little embarrassing… And all for what? The topic of infertility. In fact, did you know that in a recent study, experts found that the average sperm count over the past 38 years has declined by 59% ? Yes to put that simply Sperm count is going down my friends and I’m here to discuss possible reasons this might be happening. So here are 8 possible sperm damaging everyday habits that we need to talk about.

Number One: Lack of sleep.

Okay so If you have a habit of staying up late playing video games or binging Netflix or whatever, remember this one detail. In fact, people who got less than 6 hours of sleep per night were 31 percent less likely to get their partners pregnant as compared to those who slept 7-8 hours per night.

Why is that you may ask? Well without getting too technical, lack of sleep equals lower testosterone in the body which is essential for sperm production. But then again don’t go too crazy on the snooze button either. Other studies found that folks who slept longer than 9 hours a night often demonstrated lower fertility levels as well. So like the goldilocks and the three bears story, to make sure your porridge is just right…8 hours is truly the sweet spot to keeping things healthy.

Number 2: Processed Meat

Evidently eating processed meats like Bacon, hot dogs, salami, and so forth may decrease the reproductive hormones that help with the formation of healthier sperm. Yep, It all goes back to testosterone again. And that being said if you want to save your swimmers so to speak, you may want to order up another swimmer, some fish. That’s right, according to a study out of Harvard, Diet and semen quality were closely related.

Of 155 men they found that those who ate mostly fish or consumed a diet that was higher in omega-3 rich fish like salmon or tuna, they had higher sperm counts than those who ate less fish. And get this, there may be another helpful food as well. A small study in 2012 found that Walnuts may be key to improving sperm vitality as well. They studied 117 men ages 21 to 35 who ate 18 walnuts daily for 12 weeks. They found that their sperm was better than those who did not eat the walnuts.

Number 3: Hot Tubs and Saunas

Yep, you may have seen a hot tub time machine where those 4 friends get a glimpse of their future via the magical jacuzzi, well my friends when it comes to hot tubs and your sperm vitality, you’re going to be wishing you had a time machine to get those precious minutes and swimmers back. Yes Here’s the deal, testicles (aka the area where your sperm are produced) well they are outside of the body for a reason. You see, ideally, sperm production occurs at around 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Which is about 5.4 degrees below the normal body temperature of 98.6. So in other words heat-related to the hot tub or sauna exposure could affect sperm count and quality over time. In a small study that followed men and a Scandinavian-style sauna program, researchers found that people who participated in the study were found to have lower sperm counts and reduced sperm motility after the prescribed sauna use. However, they did find that the effects were reversed when their studied men avoided sauna use for three months.

Number 4: Drinking Soda

Mountain dew making you infertile? Im sure you have heard that rumor before. But in a human reproduction study, they found that folks that drank more than one sugary soda a day had lower sperm motility as compared to those who rarely guzzled soda. Super interesting data for sure but let’s think the even bigger picture here. Eating or drinking too much sugar, in general, can lead to insulin resistance which can lead to inflammation in the body which would, in turn, hinder how your sperm moves. Also too much fat in the body prompts your body to make less testosterone and higher amounts of estrogen which could be a no go for your sperm as well. So in general whether it's actually the soda, or just a general unhealthy lifestyle or higher amounts of sugar or fat in one’s body. They all can greatly affect your swimmers. Keep that in mind. This goes for alcohol as well. An occasional beer or glass of wine seems to be fine but research also linked heavier drinking to lower testosterone levels, lower sperm counts and smaller numbers of healthy sperm.

Number 5: Stress

Yep Stress, the dang stuff is just bad for the body in general and can lead to a number of life-threatening issues but here’s how it can affect one’s little reproductive cells specifically. A study out of Columbia University found that people with higher levels of stress had worse sperm quality than those who said they were less stressed. You see stress in the body throws your hormones out of whack, which we know can create inflammation in the body among other things, which in turn can be detrimental to your little friends.

Number 6: Electronics.

Well maybe not all electronics, but there are reports out there that say keeping your smartphone in your pocket or say your laptop on your lap for extended periods of time could not only hinder the way a person’s sperm moves about the cabin so to speak but it also decreases the number that is swimming around as well. Whether it’s some unforeseen radiation from the phones or heat being emitted from the electronics near your groin area hampering your sperm production, more studies would be needed to specify the exact causation but it may just be something to keep in mind. You may just want to be cautious about where you keep your laptop or phone. Like maybe don’t store your phone in your front pocket right near the scrotum if this is a concern for you.

Number 7: Cycling

Alright sorry to report but our next sperm destroyer may not sit well with cycling enthusiasts. In fact, it could be the setting that's causing the issue in the first place. But cyclists beware, because a study of Spanish triathletes that compared cyclists to non-cycling athletes found not so great news for those who like to pedal around town. The study suggested that regular cycling equated to poorer sperm quality and count for those particular athletes.

Number 8: Tighty Whities

Okay so I’ll try to keep this brief, pun intended.

Okay, all jokes aside there is some belief out there that certain underwear options could be leading to lowered count as well. So this begs the question to the boxer or not to the boxer? Well, something to consider… When the testicles are held or positioned more tightly against the body as they would be if one was wearing briefs, the scrotal temperatures could possibly elevate and damage the sperm. And evidently, the same idea applies to those who frequently cross their legs. The added friction and possible rise in temperature could be doing a number on one’s sperm.

Lowering Sperm Count:

So what exactly is considered low sperm count or as they call in the medical field: oligospermia. Well you may be surprised to learn that sperm has a pretty intense journey before its grand finale and it takes about two and a half months to prep all the sperm expelled in an average ejaculation. But once you put in the time, a human can produce around 150 million sperm a day. That means you are producing a few thousand sperm every couple of seconds. So a low count would be fewer than 39 million sperm per ejaculation. And that may sound like a lot still but you also have to think in terms of quality so to speak. They may have deformities like two heads, small heads, or do things like swim in circles. Or be damaged to the point where they can’t even swim and do business as usual at all.

Actually, some experts describe only more than half the sperm in an average semen ejaculation can swim, and higher percentages than that are not ideally shaped for swimming.

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Separating two human beings at birth? Removing your entire esophagus? Living with a HOLE in your skull?! Here are 7 of the most dangerous medical procedures that can either heal you or kill you.

While there are many different types of medical operations and they all have risks. There are a few select procedures that prove to be EXTREMELY risky. Today we’re not holding back and discussing the Most Dangerous types of procedures to experience as a patient!

7. Separation of Conjoined Twins

Yes, a grueling 9-10 hour procedure that could involve more than 30 different surgeons and specialists like: anesthesiologists, hepatologists, nurses, technicians, and so on simultaneously all working on this crazy operation…. But let’s rewind for a second. You might be wondering what are conjoined twins?

Conjoined twins are identical twins who are joined together in utero. This is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs only once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. The two twins could be connected at the skull, the chest, share organs, not share internal organs, to say it gets super complicated when discussing a separation surgery would be the understatement of the year. It is extremely high risk and delicate on the most dangerous surgery scale. Also, the risk and difficulty of the separation surgery depend on where the twins are joined. I mean if the twins are conjoined in an area that cannot be divided evenly, the surgery could result in the death of one or even both twins, and the decision of whether or not even to do the separation surgery is a complicated one. In fact, only 60% of the surgically separated cases survive.

One such life-changing surgery was the story of two twins from Pakistan who were born fused at the head. Their separation process was a 6-month journey where they traveled to London and had to have three major operations and over 100 specialists involved to separate them. One twin had most of the blood vessels going into the head, while the other one had a lot of drainages and they had to develop circulation for themselves. Generally speaking, medical experts out there report that conjoined twins generally have a poor prognosis with the total survival rate at 7.5%, with only 60% of the surgically separated cases surviving, so it's a true medical miracle when these types of surgeries are successful.

6. Colectomy

From 2008-2011 some stats revealed that the mortality rate for this type of surgery was somewhere around 5.3 percent, but the complication rate was over 42 percent! That’s a very high number so what exactly is a colectomy?

A colectomy is a very involved medical surgery that removes all or part of the colon, aka the large intestine. That is the long, nearly 6-foot tube-like organ that makes up our digestive tract and handles things like dehydrating your food and turning it into the stool.

One of the most common reasons one may have to undergo emergency surgery and have part of their colon removed is an infection that can occur in the small pocket of the intestine, this is called diverticulitis. Sometimes this can be treated with antibiotics but if that infected pouch decides to rupture, surgery is sadly required to remove that part of the colon.

Other reasons you may undergo a colectomy? Volvulus or twisting of the intestine, bowel obstruction, chron disease, ulcerative colities or colon cancer. And in the case of colon cancer or colon resection surgery, where you would remove the cancerous part of the large intestine.

Colectomies are always a very complicated, delicate and serious procedure as there are always the chance for infection, bleeding, blood clots in the legs or deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism or blood clots to the lungs and damage to other nearby organs like the bladder and small intestines. And In addition to the removal of the large intestine oftentimes patients will also need other surgical additional procedures to re-attach the areas of the digestive system in order to let waste get out of the body, making this seriously one of the most burdensome surgeries to recover from and difficult procedures for physicans.

5. Bladder Cystectomy

Another Medical procedure with a high risk of complication is Bladder Cystectomy.

Cancer in the bladder is one of the most difficult types of cancers a patient can deal with because it often leads to a bladder cystectomy. There are many different ways surgeons can treat a bladder cystectomy, but open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and robotic surgery are the three most commonly seen. This procedure involves the partial or complete removal of the bladder in the case of bladder cancer. This procedure leaves patients at a high risk of infection during this surgery, affecting the membrane lining of the abdomen. Therefore, is there the possibility that you might need an alternative way to empty your bladder, and it can also have an impact on your sex life.

4. Oesophagectomy

This is the procedure used to partially or entirely remove the esophagus aka the tube that transports food from your throat to your stomach. This is usually due to cancer. An oesophagectomy is performed to avoid the disease from spreading to the rest of the stomach or other organs. Because of the nature of the incisions, bleeding, leaking of fluids into the stomach, clots, and infection are the most significant risks. The lungs may also be affected. The size of the incisions is dependent on the severity of the process and how much of the esophagus needs to be removed. The most severe scenario is where the esophagus, a part of the abdomen, and the lymph nodes are removed via incisions in the chest, abdomen, and throat.

3. Craniectomy

The brain is clearly one of our most curial organs for life. It moves our bodies through everyday life. If one thing affects the brain, you can guarantee it’s going to throw something else out of wack too. So craniectomy presents a lot of risks. A craniectomy is especially brutal because it requires that the piece of the skull is removed to access the brain. A fraction of the skull is removed to relieve pressure on the brain. This piece of skull is not replaced immediately after the surgery is complete. Therefore, leaving the fully-recovered patient the risk of brain damage after the surgery if they do not adequately protect their head. Depending on the area of the brain where this procedure will be performed, other serious risks like changes or loss in the functions of vision, mobility, speech, memory, coordination, and more can be permanent. In the past, this type of surgery was usually performed as a last resort, but with the progress of technology, it is utilized more frequently nowadays.

2. Spinal Osteomyelitis Surgery

Infections of the spine are incredibly destructive, and any surgical procedures performed in this area come with a lot of risks, such as complete or partial paralysis, or other serious infections. Spinal osteomyelitis is an infection of the vertebrae, which is a rare but dangerous cause of back pain. Surgery is often the last resort for treating this infection, but sometimes emergency surgery is needed, mainly when sepsis occurs. Diseases of the spine can be hazardous, and operation in the area can be risky and may lead to paralysis or more infection. Antibiotics take care of most spinal infections, so requiring spinal osteomyelitis surgery is unusual.

1. Thoracic Aortic Dissection Repair

Like any form of open-heart surgery, this procedure is difficult and risky because of its delicate nature. An aortic dissection (a split or tear in your body’s main artery) is a life-threatening condition that requires thoracic aortic dissection repair, a risky emergency surgery. This operation is often associated with an increased risk of stroke. A surgeon will remove the dissected aorta and rebuild the blood vessel with a synthetic graft.

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Today, we’re checking out 5 of the craziest or little-known emergency medical conditions that men need to be aware of! Whether you were born male, identify as it or just care about the men in your life and wanna make sure they stay nice and healthy, these are some more concerning medical conditions that you should definitely be aware of.

5. Testicular Torsion

Up first on our weird male medical condition topic of discussion, testicular torsion. Yes, I know what you are thinking, Ummm what in the what?! Alright bear with me, this may be painful for some to just even hear about, but a testicular torsion is a real deal medical emergency in which the spermatic cord, aka the part of the testicle that provides blood flow to the area, becomes twisted or rotated. Maybe from an injury or possibly something else, but basically the blood supply to the testicle or scrotum is cut off causing possible atrophy or shrinkage to the area. If the blood supply isn't restored, or the area isn’t untwisted so to speak in a matter of 4-8 hours, the testicle could infarct or die. I’m not joking either, this is a very serious emergent situation that affects males more than you may realize. Although it is typically seen more in younger teenage boys, males of any age can experience a testicular torsion at some point in their life.

Treatment for this serious situation? Surgery is usually required to correct it but in some cases, a doctor might be able to untwist a testicle by pushing the scrotum manually, although you still may have to undergo surgery at some point to prevent it from happening again. Okay, how do you know if you have a torsion? Symptoms like: strong pain in that area, swelling, redness, feeling sick, or one testicle might be positioned higher up than the other. If you have any concerns you or someone you know has a torsion, make sure you see a doctor IMMEDIATELY as you really do not, I repeat not want to lose blood supply to this area.

4. Bladder Stones

Pain in the lower abdomen, feeling like you have to constantly urinate, pain in the penis or testicles. This isn’t a fun one either! Not to be confused with kidney stones, Bladder stones are hard masses of minerals found in your bladder. They can develop when the minerals in concentrated urine crystallize and form stones. So yes technically anyone can get bladder stones, but Men for some reason especially those over the age of 50 are more likely to get them. Men over the age of 50 have benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH and BPH causes the prostate, an organ located below the bladder in men, to get larger. An enlarged prostate can often make it difficult to drain the bladder completely which can cause stones to form when urine sits in the bladder for too long.

Other people, who are at risk for bladder stones? Those with any nerve damage like a spinal cord injury or those who may have previously had surgeries on the bladder or intestines. Okay, how do you know if you have bladder stones? Well things like changes in urine color, frequent need to urinate or stopping and starting the flow of urine, and of course pain, can all be symptoms. In extreme cases, leading to serious complications like: damage to the bladder, kidneys, uremic poisoning, and even death could result but that's in severe cases. Most bladder stones pass on their own or can be removed. Often a doctor will first do a cystoscopy to find the stones and then use a laser or some other tool to break up the stones into pieces so they can be flushed out. If the stones are too large, surgery could be an option as well.

3. Gynecomastia

Man boobs, moobs, you’ve heard all the not-so-nice slang for it, but did you know that gynecomastia is a real condition in which the overdevelopment of breast tissue occurs in men or boys. Often seen when a pre-teen or teenage boy is going through puberty and a ton of hormonal changes are happening to the body, breasts can grow larger, grow unevenly, and be very tough to cope with. Although not typically a life-threatening condition or associated with cancer, sometimes people with this condition can experience pain, lumps, nipple discharge, and more.

So what causes gynecomastia? In a nutshell, this is often caused by changes of hormone levels like estrogen and testosterone in one’s body. However, it could be caused by other things as well. Factors like: taking certain medications, certain medical conditions like Kidney disease, liver disease, or consuming foods that may be higher in estrogen hormone levels such as milk or soy, Also using things like illegal drugs or anabolic steroids could also cause gynecomastia. Interestingly enough newborn babies sometimes have short-term forms of gyno as it has to do with a mother’s estrogen staying in a baby's blood a while after birth.

How does one treat this condition? Well in some cases it may go away a few years after puberty, but in other cases, hormone therapy and even surgery may be used to treat it as well.

2. Runner’s Hematuria

Although technically anyone can get our next condition, Hematuria is often more commonly found in male patients and is defined by the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It can cause your urine to become bright red, pink, or even brown.

Possible causes for the blood in the urine could be urinary tract infection, Kidney stones, tumors of the bladder or kidney, trauma and maybe one of the most common reasons is Exercise. Often called runner’s hematuria, Marathoner’s hematuria, and more, this condition is usually a benign condition in which there is blood in the urine after working out. It's especially common in runners, those who participate in long endurance events, and or people who are experiencing poor hydration. For instance, in a small study of 25 male 100-kilometer (km) ultra-endurance runners, 17 were shown to have hematuria post-race Prolonged activity modifies hematological parameters and promotes anemia, leading to decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit level.

In other words, this exercise-induced hematuria can last for a few hours or even days after working out, but if you find yourself still experiencing symptoms or blood in the urine after 72 hours, definitely contact your doctor as more studies and medical treatment may be needed.

1. Priapism

Sounds interesting enough but I can assure you as a male, this is nothing that you want to happen in your life. And if you do come to see me in the ER with this condition, you may just hate me afterward. Okay, I'll explain, priapism is a condition that can occur in males of all ages in which prolonged erections happen and is usually unrelated to any type of sexual activity. Yep, an erection that just won't go away no matter what you do!

What causes this prolonged penis pump of sorts? Well, things like taking erectile dysfunction medications, other non-ED medications, blood thinners, antidepressants, blood pressure drugs or even other conditions like sickle cell disease can all cause priapism. And again this can happen at any age.

Ischemic priapism specifically, aka low-flow priapism is the most common form of priapism and is the result of blood not being able to leave the penis. In other words, blood is trapped in the penis, and cannot flow out of the veins. This is bad news and seriously requires immediate medical care. If you have an erection lasting more than four hours, you need to seek emergency care immediately, I’m not joking. If you don't treat this it can cause serious complications and destroy tissue inside of the penis. Not only that but it can lead to possible Erectile dysfunction later on and you could in severe cases actually lose the penis. So if you think you are suffering from priapism definitely get to the hospital ASAP.

To try and reduce short bouts of extended erection, try putting ice or a cold pack indirectly on your pelvic area for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Now if you do come into the hospital after having an erection for a prolonged period of time, forewarning The ED docs such as myself have to physically drain the blood from the penis with needles. It's not a fun process but definitely better than losing your member altogether.

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