Although I’m not an owner of testicles, testicular health is of the utmost importance to me and it should be to you too. I’ve learned over time from the men in my life that testicles are the sole representation of manhood.
- If you have a pair it means you are courageous and strong and everyone else should grow some exactly like yours
- If you have a pair it means you have a strong opinion on boxers, briefs, and of course the aptly named boxer brief
- If you have a pair it means you’re the master of secret (or not so secret) adjustments
- If you have a pair it means you can create life even once you’re over the hill
- And if you have a pair you protect them like your life depends on it because even though they make you strong they can be oddly fragile
So if you own a pair of balls, or even just one, I want to help you keep them healthy. This blog post is dedicated to the health of your nuts and the future spawn they may contain. Here are five ways to keep your testicles in tip-top shape:
Ejaculate often. Very often
Tell your partner (or yourself) that I said so. If you want genetically healthy sperm, the more you ejaculate the better the sperm DNA will be. Periods of abstinence, even as short as 3 days, increase the amount of DNA in the sperm that is fragmented or broken. The longer the sperm hangs out in the epididymis the more likely it is for the sperm to become damaged. I’m only talking about DNA quality here, if you’re concerned about the quantity of semen you have, you should ejaculate less and save some for later.
Give your scrotum a well-deserved breeze
Cosmo Kramer wasn’t messing around when he switched from briefs to boxers. Your precious balls maintain a very specific temperature, 35 degrees Celsius to be exact, to manufacture the highest quality semen. You already know that the scrotum moves depending on temperature, you can thank the cremaster muscle for that. When you’re in the pool the scrotum rises closer to the body to maintain its temperature, and we all understand the consequent phenomenon of shrinkage! But it’s not just water that changes scrotal temperature; sitting for long periods of time at a desk, wearing the latest skinny jeans, placing your laptop on your groin, and putting your cell phone in your pocket all compromise your scrotal temperature. There’s only so much hanging your balls can do to escape the heat of these activities before the sperm starting committing suicide- a process known as oxidative stress mediated apoptosis.
Wear protection… when playing sports
I don’t now how painful it is to be kicked in the groin but judging by the reactions I’ve seen I’m lead to believe that it’s worse than childbirth. You already know that a jockstrap is your friend, but the damage from a testicular injury lasts much longer than the pain you experience. When the vasculature in the testicle is compromised, i.e. when blood vessels are broken, your body can mount an immune response against your sperm and create antibodies that kill it! Frequent genital infections, and a condition known as varicocele, can also lead to the creation of anti-sperm antibodies.
Let your testicles tan
What I mean to say is, think twice before you load up on sunscreen. Even though your testicles live in a place where the sun don’t shine, applying sunscreen that contains benzophenones to any place on your body can affect the health of your boys. You can still use sunscreen when you’re on a tropical nude beach, just opt for one without benzophenones.
Brush your teeth and sleep well
Good oral hygiene isn’t just for real men, it’s for everyone. Believe it or not, but healthy testicles start in the mouth. That’s not a pun. Research is noticing associations between periodontal disease and semen quality. After you brush your teeth, you should get a good night’s rest because the hormone melatonin that you produce while sleeping is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are important for testicular cancer prevention, and all cancers for that matter.
I hope you use these five simple strategies to take care of your testicles AND your manhood. The next time you tell someone to grow a pair, think about how you’re treating your own!
Bozhedomov, V. A., Nikolaeva, M. A., Ushakova, I. V., Lipatova, N. A., Bozhedomova, G. E., & Sukhikh, G. T. (2015). Functional deficit of sperm and fertility impairment in men with antisperm antibodies. Journal of reproductive immunology, 112, 95-101.
Buck Louis GM, Kannan K, Sapra KJ, Maisog J, Sundaram R. Urinary concentrations of benzophenone-type ultraviolet radiation filters and couples’ fecundity. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Dec 15;180(12):1168-75.
Klinger A, Hain B, Yaffe H, Schonberger O. Periodontal status of males attending an in vitro fertilization clinic. J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Jun;38(6):542-6
Moore, C. R., & Quick, W. J. (1924). The scrotum as a temperature regulator for the testes. American Journal of Physiology–Legacy Content, 68(1), 70-79.
Pons, I., Cercas, R., Villas, C., Braña, C., & Fernández-Shaw, S. (2013). One abstinence day decreases sperm DNA fragmentation in 90% of selected patients. Journal of assisted r eproduction and genetics, 30(9), 1211-1218.