Low sperm count in men can be a really frustrating thing especially for men trying for a baby. These are certain things to watch out for to tell your man’s state.
Women are naturally drawn to men with deep voices because a macho tone reminds them of all things manly. And while talking like Barry White packs its fair share of benefits, it could also mean bad news for your sperm.
A new study from the University of Western Australia found that guys with a low-pitched voice had reduced concentrations of sperm in ejaculations. The possible connection: “Testosterone, which deepens a man’s voice, also suppresses sperm production when it’s at high levels,” says lead researcher Leigh Simmons, Ph.D., an evolutionary biology professor at Western Australia.
Meanwhile, the pitch of your voice isn’t the only health clue your body is sending you. Here are five other surprising body quirks that may be early signs of health problems.
1. Finger Length
As Men’s Health previously reported, size matters—when it comes to your fingers. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that men whose index fingers were longer than their ring fingers were 33 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. As it turns out, people who have longer index fingers were exposed to less testosterone when they were a baby in their mother’s womb, researchers say. This may help protect against prostate cancer later on.
2. Nail Color
Healthy nails are usually smooth and spotless, but “redness under your fingernails can be a sign of a collagen vascular disease like lupus,” says Neil Sadick, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. “It gives you inflammation of the blood vessels, and that can present as redness or blood vessels under the nail itself.” Research has also found that white nails are linked with liver issues, and unusual curvatures can even be a sign of lung cancer.
3. Earlobe Wrinkles
Diagonal creases on your earlobes may be a sign of potential cardiovascular problems, according to a study from the University of Chicago. Researchers found participants with a crease (and no prior coronary artery disease) were nearly eight times more likely to experience cardiac events as those without. Earlobes may give a reflective health warning because of the similarities between the blood vessels that supply the earlobes and the heart, researchers speculate. Or creases may just be a result of aging.
4. Sense of Smell
The inability to identify certain orders may be a warning sign of Parkinson’s Disease. A study led by the Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders and the University of Pennsylvania found that when given a small test, patients with Parkinson’s could only correctly identify half of the smells presented. An additional study in the Annals of Neurology found that this impaired sense of smell can predate Parkinson’s by about 4 years.
Although going bald is natural, it could also be a clue to more serious conditions. “Hair loss can be a sign of thyroid disease or thyroid cancer,” Sadick says. “If you have an overactive thyroid, or a thyroid that’s not functioning well, you can get hair loss as a presenting sign of it.” Hypothyroidism may also manifest itself in unusual thinning of the eyebrows. Plus, “sometimes men can have very fine hairs along their temples early in life, and that can be a sign of impending genetic hair loss,” says Sadick.