Decreasing sperm count can be a total bummer for a lot of guys, with some falling into depression due to their little guys not wanting to swim as often. But, instead of getting down in the dumps, there are plenty of ways to help increase sperm count, so it’s not as if the end is near if/when it happens.
While there are medications and other exercises that can help, there’s on theory that’s super interesting — and it’s called sperm count competition. Sound a little weird? Hey, science is saying that it’s a real thing, and, while it’s not for everyone, it may be a solution worth exploring. But be prepared, because it takes a special kind of person to even take the leap.
According to a study published on NCBI.com, experts wanted to get to the bottom of sperm count and how it’s effected in men. Since there’s increasing evidence that non-human animals males adjust their ejaculate expenditure according to the risk of sperm competition, researchers wanted to see if the same could be shown for human males. From the study, here are some factors that the study explored, which included lifestyle variables that could influence sperm count, such as cell phones being close to the testes — which is believed to decrease semen quality.
So what does sperm count competition actually mean?
Sperm count competition is defined as being the “competitive process between two or more different males.” In a simpler form, it’s the feeling of competition you get when you and other guys have an eye on the same girl. This type of competition may occur if/when the girl has a number of other sexual partners at once.
Sperm count competition is often compared to having tickets in a raffle — where a guy has a better chance of winning with the more tickets he has. That may be part of the reason why many guys enjoy the chase of a girl, but not the actual relationship afterwards, because they feel like they “won” by having sex with her before any other guy did.
How did researchers gather their information about sperm count competition?
Recruiting 52 heterosexual men between the ages of 18 and 35 years from the campus of the University of Western Australia, researchers asked the subjects to abstain from having any sexual activity for at least 48 hours, but for no longer than six days, with the participants then asked to provide a semen sample after looking at four sexual images. One of the images was of two men having sex with a girl, while the others were of three females.
What did researchers find out about sperm count after reviewing the image tests?
According to the collected data, via NCBI, image content can have a serious impact on sperm count and semen quality. Likewise, due to the theory of sperm competition, participants who watched two guys have sex with one girl saw an increase in sperm concentration.
Here’s what the study revealed, per NCBI:
On the one hand, if viewing images of two males and one female was perceived in the context of sperm competition risk we would have expected an increase in sperm concentration (Parker et al. 1997). On the other hand, if these images were perceived as high-intensity sperm competition, we should expect a decrease in sperm concentration (Parker et al. 1996), as observed in our between-subject analysis.
Researchers agreed that further studies are required to both validate the findings and “extend them by incorporating sex ratio variation in experimental images.”
Are cell phones actually a risk when it comes to sperm count and semen quality?
According to the research, yes, cell phones can have a negative impact when it comes to sperm count and semen quality. That means that, for those guys who carry their phones in their pockets and close to their testes, you’re at a higher risk for decreased sperm count.
Here’s what the study had to report, based off of their findings:
After other lifestyle variables had been accounted for in our analysis, storage of mobile phones close to the testes had a significant negative impact on sperm concentration and the percentage of motile sperm. These trends suggest that recent concerns over long-term exposure to the electromagnetic irradiation emitted by mobile phones should be taken more seriously, given the growing trend for deterioration in the male germ line (Aitken et al. 2004).
That means that it’s best to keep your phone out of your pocket and away from your testicles or penis area as frequently as possible, when possible. For instance, placing the phone on a table while sitting down, or in the cup holder of a car while driving is heavily encouraged.
To see the full details of the study, head on over to NCBI.com, which has even more in-depth analysis from the research that can be helpful to better understand sperm count and semen quality.