232 Infer tility
These dangers can hurt fertility in many ways—from the
making of sperm and eggs to the birth of a healthy baby:
• Contaminated air, food, or water caused by dangerous
pesticides or toxic chemicals used in factories and farms.
Pesticides and other
harmful chemicals can
hurt a man’s sperm
while he works...
...and if the woman washes his clothes, the
harmful chemicals are passed to her.
• Smoking or chewing tobacco, or drinking alcohol or
coffee. Women who smoke or chew tobacco, or who
drink a lot of alcohol or coffee may take longer to become
pregnant or have more miscarriages. Men who smoke or
drink a lot of alcohol or coffee make fewer sperm, and
these are often damaged or weak.
• High temperatures. A man’s sperm need to
stay cool. That is why the testicles hang in
the scrotum outside a man’s body. When the
testicles get too warm they can stop making
healthy sperm. For example, this can happen if
a man wears tight clothes that press his testicles
up inside his body, or if he takes a hot bath, or
works near hot things such as boilers, furnaces,
or the hot engine of a long-distance truck—
Working in hot places, like sitting near the especially if he drives for many hours without
hot engine of a truck for many hours, can a break. Once the testicles become cool, they
kill sperm and cause a man to be infertile. star t making healthy sperm again.
• Medicines. Some medicines can hurt fertility. The best
choice is for you and your partner not to use any medicines
while you are trying to become pregnant. If you must use
medicines because of illness, talk to a health worker and tell
her you are trying to get pregnant.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012