Health experts have linked long-distance driving as a major cause of male infertility.
Long-distance drivers of vehicles like trucks and trailers expose their scrotum to heat. This is because they sit at the wheel for long hours. This in turn leads to poor quality of sperm.
A physician from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr Ibrahim Kuranga-Suleiman said this to newsmen.
Kuranga-Suleiman said that the heat from the vehicle exposes men to infertility.
He noted that the scrotum is cool in nature and should maintain that cool state at all times. According to him, long-distance driver exposes their scrotum to heat which is unhealthy. This is because the frequent exposure of the scrotum to heat predisposes drivers to the production of low sperm count.
The physician maintained that men whose occupation is long-distance driving should observe breaks during long trips. He noted that the drivers should take at least 30 minutes breaks after every three to four hours long trip.
“Not those long-distance drivers are impotent, they can make love, but they usually have issues with the quality of their sperm.
“The quality of their sperm may not be good and healthy like that of the men who are not long-distance drivers because their scrotum and testes, also known as testicles, are under heat at all times.
“The heat from the engine of the trailers or trucks that they are driving is always burning their scrotum and testes. So, the viability of their sperm will be less.
“These are some of the observations that have been made over the years that people that are constantly at the wheel and are sitting on a hot engine, like truck and trailer drivers, for long hours have problem with their sperm. So, when this heat is burning the scrotum, it will be affecting sperm production.
“One of the things we recommend is that if you are a long-distance driver and you are travelling for a 24-hour journey, travel three to four hours, observe a break and relax for at least 30 minutes and then continue your journey.
“You can take a shower in-between your journey; that will help your body to cool down and will also improve your sperm viability.
“So, don’t go on a long-distance journey at a stretch that will make the car engine and your body so hot and denature your sperm cells and makes it difficult for you to get your wife pregnant.”
An article on John Hopkins Medicine online portal explains the importance of a scrotum.
According to the article, the scrotum is a bag of skin that protects the testicles. Meanwhile, the testes are two small organs that are found inside the scrotum.
“The testicles make sperm and, to do this, the temperature of the testicles needs to be cooler than the inside of the body. This is why the scrotum is located outside of the body.
“The testes are responsible for making sperm and are also involved in producing a hormone called testosterone. Testosterone is an important hormone during male development and maturation for developing muscles, deepening the voice, and growing body hair,” it said.
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He also said most of the drivers who changed their profession now produce quality sperm. Those who maintain the profession still find it difficult to impregnate their wives.
He said, “When you are having your testes being under heat all the time, the quality of the sperm will be reduced than when it is not under heat. If you have fertility-challenged couples that are coming to your clinic, you have to find out whether the husband is a long-distance driver or not.
“Most times, when you asked them to change their profession, their fertility will return to normal. That is the observation we have seen from our practice.”
Source: PUNCH HealthWise