The fun doesn’t stop there; evidently being overweight and using recreational drugs are okay too (at least when it comes to baby making). This contradicts advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which stated that all of the aforementioned have a negative impact on male fertility.
Researchers drew data from 2,249 men across 14 fertility clinics in the U.K. Participants filled out lifestyle questionnaires, and researchers compared questionnaire results between 939 participants with low sperm count and a control group of 1,310 with normal numbers.
While drinking, smoking, drug use, and weight do not affect sperm counts, wearing underpants that are a bit too tight does; men with low sperm counts are 1.3 times as likely to not wear boxers.
To be fair, the study only considered sperm count, which is only one aspect of the overall quality of a man’s juice. Other factors include size, shape, and DNA makeup of the little swimmers. So, while the influence of smoking and drinking is as yet unexamined for those factors, at least we know that in terms of sheer numbers men can maintain their fertility regardless of their drinking and smoking habits.
Dr. Andrew Povey of the University of Manchester led the study, which was published in the June issue of the journal Human Reproduction. In his words, “this potentially overturns much of the current advice given to men about how they might improve their fertility and suggests that many common lifestyle risks may not be as important as we previously thought.”
However, doctors conducting the study were careful to note that drinking, smoking, using drugs, and being overweight are still bad for you in plenty of other ways. In the words of Dr. Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield, “in spite of our results, it’s important that men continue to follow sensible health advice and watch their weight, stop smoking and drink alcohol within sensible limits.”
But hey, if the men in the audience find themselves too attached to their vices to follow the advice of Dr. Pacey, we can at least rest assured that you’ve got as good a chance as the next guy of passing along your genes before your bad habits catch up to you.
Unless you wear briefs.