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Heated seat fertility warning

  • Heated seats could lead to male infertility
  • Drivers who cover longer distances worst hit

Written by Parkers Published: 28 August 2008 Updated: 1 February 2017

Car buyers are being warned to think twice before opting for heated seats, following research that shows they could lead to a reduction in male fertility.  

Scientists from the University of Giessen in Germany found that just a small temperature change can affect sperm counts, meaning that if the optimal temperature between 35 and 36°C is increased, sperm production could be damaged. The latest findings were published in the latest issue of New Scientist magazine.

Scientists tested the effect of heated car seats on 30 healthy men, who were fitted with temperature sensitive sensors and asked to sit on different types of car seats for 90 minutes.

When sat on the heated car seats, one man’s temperature rose to 39.7°C, where the average was just 37.3°C. Although this is just a small rise in temperature, Andreas Jung who led the study said that it could be enough to damage sperm production.

Men have previously been warned that sitting in a car for long periods of time can already damage sperm production, even if the seats aren’t heated.

The study also follows warnings that men are more likely to take longer to conceive if they drive longer than three hours a day.

Heated seats are available as standard or as an option on many popular cars including the Honda Accord, Ford Mondeo and Nissan Qashqai.