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Men may have healthier sperm in the winter months

According to the results of a study recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, men have healthier sperm and a higher sperm count in the winter and early spring, in comparison to other times throughout the year. Sperm produced in the winter months have been found to be faster swimmers, and have fewer abnormalities, compared to the sperm produced in the summer. Researchers found that sperm quality begins to slowly decline in early spring.

Between 2006 and 2009, Professor Eliahu Levitas and his colleagues from Ben-Gurion University in Negrev, Israel studied semen samples taken from 6, 455 male participants at their fertility clinic. In this study, 4, 960 men were found to produce a normal amount of sperm (i.e., over 16 million sperm per millilitre of semen), whereas 1, 495 participants were found to have abnormal levels of sperm production. Men with “normal” sperm counts were found to produce approximately 70 million sperm per litre – 5% of which were categorized as having “fast” swimming speed (motility). However, in the summer, men with normal sperm counts only produced approximately 68 million sperm, only 3% of which were categorized with fast motility. In contrast, men with abnormal sperm counts demonstrated an opposite pattern, having more and healthier sperm in autumn, with slight improvement in the spring months.

It remains unclear why the men in this study produced a higher quantity of healthy sperm in the winter. Researchers suggest that a colder environment may promote the production of healthier sperm. However, these findings may be specific to the ethnicity and geographical region of the participants. Studies with other ethnic groups of men in other geographical parts of the world are necessary, to confirm the findings in this study.

Read more about this topic here.

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