Want healthier sperm? Wear this type of underwear

Switching to roomier smalls could improve sperm quality a new study suggests

Switching to roomier smalls could improve sperm quality a new study suggests Credit Sebastian Kaulitzki Alamy Stock

The researchers looked at several factors that affect sperm quality beyond total count, such as motility (their ability to swim), morphology (proportion of normal-looking sperm) and DNA damage to sperm. To understand this, the researchers first collected semen samples from 656 men between the ages of 32 and 39 and asked them what they preferred more, boxers or briefs. Thus, it can be inferred that wearing loser boxers can be helpful in improving sperm count, but the tighter ones will not make you infertile either. New research released on Wednesday has suggested that men who usually wear boxer shorts have higher sperm concentrations than those who wear tighter-fitting briefs or jockeys.

Researchers also found that men who wore boxers had 14 percent lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is the hormone that stimulates the testes to produce sperm. That's because men who wear tight-fitting briefs may have lower sperm count according to the largest study conducted on the topic. Other potentially confounding factors that were not taken into consideration included the type of pants worn, and the textile fabric of the underwear. In addition to this, the researchers noticed that the shape of the sperm in these men were much better.

"It is a simple measure to wear boxer shorts when there is uncertainty regarding fertility", he commented.

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Temperatures of between three to four degrees Celsius is required for successful sperm production.

And while the underwear effect is not "dramatic", Fisch said.

In a study of 656 men, by researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, in the USA, boxer short wearers had a 25% higher sperm concentration than men in tight-fitting underwear.

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But before you panic about your choice of trousers for the past year, it's worth noting that while sperm counts were higher in those that wore boxers, the research didn't find evidence that wearing other styles of underwear would drastically drop your sperm's quality or count.

For the study, scientists at the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health analysed the the blood and semen samples of over 650 men who were seeking treatment for fertility at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The findings suggest that this hormone kicks into gear when it needs to compensate for increasing scrotal temperatures and decreasing sperm counts in tight underwear. She and her colleagues note that numerous investigations have tried to directly connect temperature differences from types of underwear to reproductive health, but the results have been inconsistent. "I generally counsel men that they can choose the type of underwear that is most comfortable", Eisenberg told "But if they do feel warm or constricted, then another type may make sense", he added.

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