Increase in scrotal temperature in car drivers

Hum Reprod. 2000 Jun;15(6):1355-7. doi: 10.1093/humrep/15.6.1355.


Several recent studies have reported a gradual decline in sperm production in men. Endocrine disrupters as well as lifestyle have been suggested as risk factors. One lifestyle factor that may affect human fertility is driving a vehicle for a prolonged period. Several authors have suggested that driving position may increase the scrotal temperature. In order to validate this hypothesis we conducted continuous monitoring of scrotal temperature in real conditions, i.e. in men driving a car for a prolonged period. Nine volunteer men were asked to walk outside for 40 min and then to drive a car for 160 min. Scrotal temperatures were measured from thermocouples and values recorded every 2 min on a portable data recorder. Scrotal temperature increased significantly (P < 0.0001) in driving posture after 2 h of driving, reaching a value 1.7-2.2 degrees C higher than that recorded while walking. This link between driving position and increased scrotal temperature indicates a potential exposure of male reproductive function to lifestyle factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Scrotum / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Walking / physiology