Many of us are already aware that there are many factors, such as heat, that can affect sperm counts. So what happens when it’s the day of the IUI and the male partner has a fever?
The short answer is… nothing.
At least not immediately anyway. The truth is that a fever today will likely not affect the sperm needed for an IUI now. However, it may cause problems in the future.
The Sperm Cycle
To understand this, it’s important to understand the sperm cycle. Sperm production begins in the testicles where sperm are created and allowed to mature. In order to produce and nurture sperm, the temperature of the testicles must remain approximately one degree lower than that of the rest of the body. To accommodate fluctuations in temperature, both internally and externally, the scrotum is able to move the testicles to maintain this delicate balance. In warm temperatures, the testicles can be held further away from the body. In cold temperatures, the testicles will be brought closer. If however, the testicles are not able to maintain this ideal temperature, as can occur during a fever, sperm production is hindered or may even cease for a short time.
It takes roughly 72 days for a sperm to mature enough for use. So, the sperm that are available for insemination today were actually produced about three months ago. But, the fever that he has today may affect the growing sperm in his testicles three months from now. Fever has been associated with decreased sperm counts, motility, and morphology. If fever is present, please notify your physician so a note can be made in your chart.
So the moral of this story is to be proactive in preventing illness when able. Get your annual flu shot and avoid contact with sick individuals when possible. For more information on male fertility topics, please visit www.txfertility.com and austinivf.com.