MIAMI (CBS4) — When a couple has trouble getting pregnant, they often assume it’s because there’s a problem with the woman but that’s not always the case. The leading cause of male infertility is low sperm count and researchers have found sperm counts on the decline.

Dave and Teri have been trying to get pregnant since they married five years ago. They both assumed the problem was hers.

“It never crossed my mind that I was infertile or would have a problem with fertility,” said Dave.

Male fertility specialist Dr. Paul Turek said men did not think about their fertility. He says guys are like cars. “Men are engines that run hard almost all the time. And you can poison the engine. Not poison it but give it diluted fuel, water it down, get it out of tune somehow.”

Diluting the fuel is not something most men like to think about. However, according to studies in Europe and the United States, sperm counts and sperm quality have been dropping for the past 50 years. Guys typically have no idea how the environment or their own lifestyle can affect fertility.

“You know you can bring a sperm count to zero by taking hot baths every other day for a month,” Turek said. “It’ll take you three months to recover. It’ll go to zero.” That’s only the beginning of his list of sperm killers. “Smoking, nicotine, tobacco, other recreational drugs are bad,” Turek said.

Turek also said excess alcohol and hair loss medications can affect sperm count, along with illnesses, opiates and stress.

Do you keep a cell phone in your pocket? Use a laptop computer on your lap? Both can possibly raise testicular temperatures enough to hurt sperm production. Some pesticides mimic hormones that disrupt sperm growth and quality. And for the first time, studies show sperm can be affected by Bisphenol-A, a chemical contained in many plastic products.

Dave and Teri are among more than 8 million couples in the U.S. with fertility problems. Nearly half the time the problem is partially or totally on the male side.

“I’ve been on male birth control for 5 years and didn’t know it,” said Dave.

Around the time of his marriage, Dave complained of low energy to his doctor, who prescribed testosterone treatments. Testosterone and other steroids can cause sterility.

“Having a family, which I do consider part of my identity, I think we’re stuck right now,” he said. “And that, that makes me angry.”

Anger, disbelief, devastation; infertility is a diagnosis men don’t expect.

“These are things that a death in the family would induce, or losing a limb, or getting told you have cancer,” Turek said. “These are the same emotional impact. And they just never thought about it. It came from the blue sky, so it knocks ‘em out.”

Turek said male infertility is often curable. His advice to men — although he said most probably won’t listen — is to treat your body as well as you treat your car. He says while women get check-ups, men should get regular tune-ups.

“The body wants to work really hard, it wants to be the best it can and you can hurt that. Take better care of yourself.”

Comments (48)
  1. Junkman Supremo says:

    And how about those full body scans at the airport?


    1. Steve Aho says:


      1. Don't Have A Cell Phone says:

        The continued decrease of the fertility of a nation due to its environment isn’t news?

        Well it was obviously “news” enough for you to click on it, read it, and then comment on it!

  2. Paganpink says:

    Pure junk science. There is no way that hot baths every other day would ever bring sperm counts to zero. Zero? What about native American populations that frequently bathed in hot springs as rituals? Did their population die out? Do New Zealanders show a huge difference in sperm count from all other populations? And how does Bisphenol-A in levels of parts per BILLION affect anything? Turek is a wacko. He takes reduced levels of sperm at ANY level as the source of infertility and infers correlation where there is none.

    1. SUPER SPERM says:

      Haha, yeah there’s a lot of Indians stilll around!

      Why don’t you try taking a hot bath every day for a month, and try to get a woman pregant. You let us know the outcome, okay?

  3. sayitlikeitis says:

    Study was done recently that attributed low sperm counts to masturbation. Certainly the rise of playboy and popular pornography especially since the internet is a huge factor! Apparently, we are no longer sexually repressed…instead we have become slaves to our sexual desires. And no one seems to care.

    1. Fertile Turtle says:

      Where is this supposed study? Post a link. I just don’t believe that masturbation is bad for a man’s sperm count What if a man has sex with his wife twice a day all year long? Will that lead to lower a sperm count?

      1. Science Dude says:

        Actually, frequent sex DOES lower sperm count. That’s Biology 101.

      2. Phil says:

        Replying to Turtle and Science Dude –

        Both are true, increased orgasms reduce sperm count and testosterone in the short term view (it’s being used). The male body can only output so much. In the long term view it’s like exercising any other part of the body, the more one does it, the more the body adapts and is ready to do so.

    2. jack says:

      actually the opposite was found to be true. masturbation expels lethargic sperm and replaces them with vigorous healthy sperm increasing chances of fertilization.

      the reason the scrotum isn’t inside the body is because even 1 or 2 degree temperature change kills sperm.

      i doubt indians perform that ritual every other day. the reading comprehension and lack of logic of viewers is disturbing and the reason that we should have to pass a test to vote or conceive children as there are way too many dumbies already breeding.

      1. butt-head says:

        uh .. uh .. he said DUMBIES … must be speaking from personal experience.

    3. KipNoxzema says:

      It’s those aliens making us listen to evil rock and roll, too. Grrrrr.

  4. common-sense says:

    Perhaps they should be looking closer at hormone levels in the foods we eat. Nothing quite like genetically engineered food either…

  5. KSoldier says:

    Who cares? There are too many humans anyway.

    1. Brian Bleasdale says:

      then do us a favor…

    2. WAH WAH says:

      Who cares? You should, since our rapidly aging population means no social security or Medicare for you.

      Hopefully you’ll have kids so they can help take care of you, but judging from your comment, you more than likely won’t reproduce.

      Just keep taking your hot baths, letting your laptop and cell phone zap your balls, and letting the estrogen-mimicking hormones slowly turn you into a woman.

      The REAL men will make the babies.

  6. Hoofie of Falls says:

    How about a study on studies and their effects?

  7. AFSGTSAM says:

    How about we find a way to lower the sperm count of do noting unemployed loser men who drink all day an impregnate lazy welfare queens who cost the taxpares trillions of dollars. That would be something to root for!

  8. jb80538 says:

    I had a vasectomy done years ago. I’m not terribly worried about speerm count at this point.

  9. dman says:

    Is that how many times the chicken gets choked? Your body has to work much harder to replenish what it goes through. I’m no doctor, but if it works like the rest of the human body, I could see that happening. BTW, the sex will be better if you aren’t doing it twice a day in the first place! Try reading a book occasionally!

  10. dman says:

    I love people who say, “there are too many humans anyway” !

    1. ivan jerkinov says:

      Why worry? At some point an asteroid will cause mass extinctions or the sun will supernova. Natural forces have a way of finding a balance. Man has nothing to do with anything. Sorry Al Gore. We’re all just passengers on a small rock orbiting one of billions of suns in the Universe. So small and insignificant.

  11. dman says:

    anybody who believes a single study about ANYTHING needs to have their heads examined!

  12. e says:

    All these risk factors have been on the rise for decades, yet people still get pregnant and we have a larger population than even before.

    Before all of this technology existed, they blamed tight jeans, men’s briefs and hot tubs, yet our populations continues to grow in the 70’s and 80’s as well.

    I guess this just shows that most men could loose 3/4 of their little swimmers and still have millions of extras to get the job done.

  13. Klein says:

    These reports just encourage college boys to boil their testicles and shove laptops down their trousers.

  14. Government Water says:

    Hello? Our water treatment plants are OBSOLETE. The birth control drugs and estrogen hormone replacement therapy prescribed to millions of women comes right back to the men via the water supply. The water treatment bureaucracy DOES NOT TEST FOR OR EFFECTIVELY TREAT TO REDUCE the levels of hormonal contaminants in our water treatment plants. Yeah. You are drinking levels of that in every liquid that comes from water in the civilized world. And then there are all the other pharmaceuticals passed in urine and feces which are not effected by current water treatment technology.. The problem ain’t the drugs, but the obsolete public water treatment paradigm. This scandal is one of the key factors driving increased health care costs. Trillions for banks, politicians, insiders and unions, and not a peep about this — which would be more jobs, lower health costs, better protected children, cleaner food — a better America — but not for the Obama and the political syndicate that owns him and 80% of Congress. The government didn’t put the mob out of business. The government is the new mob. Remember Soylent Green: “It’s made of people.”

  15. Joe G says:

    This means new dating intimacy guidelines for men where a guy can now say: “No I don’t have a condom but I do keep my cell phone in my front pocket at all times”.

    Gotta go, my thigh is buzzing. I think its playing taps for my future progeny.

    1. Got It says:

      There’s an app for that.

  16. Tom says:

    While the information, or lack thereof, in this article is essentially worthless I have to say that reading the comments was totally worth it. Keep ’em coming. No pun intended!!!

  17. Got it says:

    Wait a minute. The quality is lowered, too. Well, that explains why there seem to be so many more idiots running around.

  18. Jbone says:

    This has been all over the news in the past. Sperm counts ARE going down, they HAVE BEEN going down for years. Men are increasingly becoming infertile. Bisphenol A, which is in about EVERY plastic, acts as a form of estrogen and it DOES impact sperm as well. I have read all this in the past and can verify the studies. this isnt junk or made up science. perhaps the author poorly documented their sources but this article is legitimate.

    Consider this article a warning, and for those of you who want to make fun or dispariage this information, that is to your own detriment. Instead of saying its BS. Get off your butts and look up the information for yourself.

  19. jnsesq says:

    Great! Let’s shower the technology and pesticides on America’s urban pits and the entire Middle East and North Africa.

  20. AFractoid says:

    I blame George Bush.

    Obama actually has the cajones to run again in 2012. His tag line is “Are you in?” I saw a t-shirt that says “are you insane?” at rightwinginc . com

  21. Richard Johnson says:

    Reading this article made my b*lls tingle. Did anybody else experience the same effect?

  22. Steve says:

    Do your research on the fact that because there is so many hormones from the contraceptive pill, this is especially helping with the decline of male fertility. Computers and cell phones are only a small part of this.

  23. ByteRider says:

    Other things that negatively effect quality:

    1. Running
    2. Hot weather/Hot baths
    3. Cold weather/Cold baths
    4. Brief underwear
    5. Tight jeans

    They do more damange than laptops and cell phones. However, considering how many little soldiers are made daily, call it “collateral damage”.

  24. ByteRider says:

    I joined info wars and found most of your stuff to be fringe and… well.. full of it.

  25. Wyatt Johnson says:

    What the article fails to address is that sperm counts are down dramatically world wide in countries that are nuclear powered. Add to this EMF fields and GMO food and the American Governments curious “Aerosol Spray” campaign… and it’s clear that it’s not just a matter of taking better care of yourself, it’s a matter of understanding that we are under attack.

  26. Sweet says:

    New idea for an iPad/iPhone app: the male contraceptive. It will ensure the temperature of your phone’s processor maintains a temperature adverse to sperm cell replication. All you have to do is keep your phone comfortably nested in your underwear. ***warning: does not protect against HIV and other STDs. Common side effects include increased chance for missed calls, anal leakage, and nut-dialing***

  27. derek says:

    Kramer’s vasectomy was botched. Now he’s even more potent!

    1. Johannah says:

      I’ll try to put this to good use imdimeately.

  28. Michael says:

    Sound like an insidious form of Darwinism. I really don’t care if people are “addicted” to to their handhelds or laptops. I do take exception to the idiots that text while driving and selfishly put others at risk. Multitasking? Do it on your own time geniuses.

  29. greg says:

    have lots sperm to spare you want sperm donor give me a yell ladies i breed grt kids ok