Is it okay to get in a hot tub while trying to conceive?

woman in hot tub
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Hot tubs are fine for women who are trying to conceive, but may have a (temporary) negative effect on a male partner's sperm. Once you're pregnant though, it's recommended that you avoid hot tubs, since an elevated body temperature could be harmful to your baby.

Here's how to navigate a little relaxation if you're trying to conceive. 

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Will hot tubs negatively affect a man's sperm count?

The short answer is yes. Men who are hoping to get their partners pregnant should avoid frequent or prolonged soaks in the hot tub while trying to conceive. Studies show a significant reduction in sperm count, sperm motility (movement), sperm concentration (volume), and sperm morphology (shape) – all of which are measured during a semen analysis – when the testes and scrotum are repeatedly exposed to heat, even if the temperature is elevated by just a few degrees.

There's also some evidence that heat exposure can damage DNA in sperm. Men's testes are outside the body for a reason: They need to be in a cooler environment to produce healthy sperm.

The good news, however, is that regular dips in the jacuzzi only have short-term implications for male fertility. About three or four months after putting his hot tub habits on hold, the male partner is likely to return to his normal sperm levels during a subsequent semen analysis.

Is it okay to get in a hot tub if I'm trying to conceive?

Yes, it's okay to get in a hot tub if you're trying to get pregnant. That's because there's no evidence or science-backed research to suggest that a hot tub has a negative effect on female fertility like it does on male fertility. That means that neither the heat from the water or chemicals in the hot tub will mess with your eggs or your ovulation cycle.

Keep in mind though that many other lifestyle choices do affect a woman's fertility and the quality of her eggs, such as nutrition, exercise, smoking, BMI, and psychological factors such as stress and anxiety. Age is the biggest factor in a woman's ability to get pregnant, and fertility rates steadily decline starting around the age of 35.

Is it okay to get in a hot tub while pregnant?

Once you're pregnant, it's best to avoid the hot tub. Some studies show that raising your body temperature in a hot tub, sauna, or hot yoga class, especially during the first trimester, increases the risk of neural tube birth defects and other congenital anomalies. Your body temperature can reach 101 degrees in just ten minutes in a hot tub, which is why it's recommended that you avoid the hot tub all together if you're expecting. 

It is okay to take a warm bath while pregnant as long as the water temperature stays at or below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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Can I get pregnant in a hot tub?

You can get pregnant in a hot tub (and any other water, for that matter) if you're having unprotected, penetrative sex with a male partner.

But the idea that you can get pregnant from free-floating sperm in a hot tub without having intercourse is just a myth. Sperm can only live in hot water for a few seconds before dying off, and the chemicals used in the hot tub water would kill sperm too. Plus, the odds that sperm could enter the vagina and fertilize an egg under these conditions are extremely low.

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

University of California San Francisco. 2007. Hot tubs hurt fertility, UCSF study found. a new window [Accessed July 2022]

Mount Sinai. Semen analysis. a new window [Accessed July 2022]

Harvard Health Publishing. 2017. Making fertility-friendly lifestyle choices. a new window [Accessed July 2022]

IFL Science. 2022. Hot tubs, saunas, and hot baths should all be avoided if you want healthy sperm. a new window [Accessed July 2022]

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2021. Can I get in a hot tub or sauna in early pregnancy? a new window [Accessed July 2022]

Mayo Clinic. Is it safe to use a hot tub during pregnancy? a new window [Accessed July 2022]

Planned Parenthood. 2010. Can you get pregnant in a hot tub without having sex? a new window [Accessed July 2022]

Haley Longman
Haley Longman is a New Jersey-based writer and editor who spent the early years of her journalism career covering entertainment, celebrities, and reality TV. She has been creating a wider range of lifestyle content since becoming a mom in 2017, including writing and editing digital and print stories on her favorite topics: women's health, fertility, pregnancy, and parenting. Longman lives in North Jersey with her husband and their son.