Are you going to bed too late?

Could your sleep patterns be affecting your sperm count? New research from China has found that going to bed after midnight along with sleeping much less or much more than average seems to have an impact on sperm.

The research team looked at more than nine hundred men who had regular sleep patterns and divided them into groups who were all given different sleep durations and bedtimes. They then carried out semen analyses over a period of six months, and found that those who were having the shortest sleep had lower sperm counts and lower motility.  They also found that those who went to bed after midnight had lower sperm counts regardless of how long they then slept for.

So, if you are trying to conceive, it’s certainly worth ensuring you get to bed before midnight – and that you don’t get too little or too much sleep. You can find the full paper from the team at China’s Harbin Medical University, which was published in the Medical Science Monitor, here 


If you haven’t seen them already, do catch the brilliant videos with Professor Allan Pacey titled #spermbanter made by Dr Fertility for National Fertility Awareness Week which give the facts about sperm production and what makes a difference to your sperm count. Professor Pacey is one of the country’s leading experts on male fertility and these videos are incredibly informative and give the facts – and also address many of the common myths about factors which can influence sperm and fertility too.

Do catch them – watch them all – it won’t take long. You may find it reassuring and you will certainly find it informative.

You can catch the videos on How sperm are made

What factors affect sperm quality


on how diet affects fertility

does smoking affect your sperm quality

and why a man might not have any sperm

There are a number of others – you will find them all once you start watching!

Could chemicals be affecting your sperm?

images-2There has been considerable debate about the role everyday chemicals may play in causing fertility problems, and now new research from the US suggests that a chemical found in plastics along with a hormone used in the contraceptive pill may be responsible for declining sperm counts.

Researchers at Washington State University exposed mice to the plastics chemical bisphenol A and to estradiol, a type of oestrogen found in contraceptives – and saw a clear impact on sperm production.  Bisphenol A is often found in plastic bottles as well as the linings of food and drink cans, while estradiol from contraceptive pills passes untreated through sewage plants and into water.

You can read more about the research on the Washington State University website.

Is watching too much TV stopping you becoming a parent?

Could the amount of TV you watch be affecting your sperm count?  A new study from the US has investigated whether the amount of time young, healthy men spent sitting in front of the television had an impact on their fertility – and concluded that it did…

Nearly two hundred men who were between the ages of 18 and 22 were studied, and researchers logged the amount of time they spent watching TV, videos or DVDs and how much physical activity they did over a three month period.  They found that both the concentration of sperm and the sperm count were directly related to their lifestyles – the men who did the most physical activity had the best results, while the men who watched the most TV came out at the bottom when it came to their sperm concentration and count.  The results found that exercise didn’t make a different to the way the sperm moved about (their motility) or increase the numbers of abnormal sperm (their motility) – but this is still a fascinating result, and enough to get anyone off their sofas and out to the gym.

You can find more details about the research, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, here.