Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Medicine | By Debra Reynolds

Want to be a dad? Wear boxers, not skin-tight briefs

Want to be a dad? Wear boxers, not skin-tight briefs

It has found that men who wore tighter briefs or jockeys had relatively higher blood levels of the reproductive hormone called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that stimulates sperm production. Men who wore airy boxers had 25% more sperm per millilitre and ejaculated 17% sperm in each ejaculation, as compared to men who wore briefs, smaller trousers or tighter underwear.

The effect wasn't huge, but, "if I were getting ready to start trying for a baby, I'd go shopping for boxers about three months ahead of time", said senior study author Dr. Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

He cautioned that there is no definitive proof that switching underwear style would make any difference because there may be other factors behind the link between wearing boxers and increased sperm count.

In the end, the researchers tested the sperm quality by counting the total number of sperm in the samples and their concentration in the seminal fluid and the concentration of the enzymes responsible for sparsogenes.

While men who wore briefs had millions fewer sperm, that wouldn't be a problem in a man with a normal sperm count, Chavarro said. Vij acknowledged that many studies of male fertility use sperm counts because they are much easier to study than pregnancy rates.

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You can also avoid damage to your balls - and your sperm as a result - by avoiding high temperatures such as in hot baths and hot tubs.

"We know that spermatogenesis is very, very sensitive to temperature", Chavarro said.

Turns out, certain styles of men's underwear may inhibit production of 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.

While the age-old locker-room debate among men - boxers vs. briefs - is more aesthetic than medical, the question has always been raised: do tight-fitting shorts overheat the family jewels? When men have trouble conceiving, "we hope that there are other ways that we can intervene that have a little more significant science and data to back them up", she said.

Oi, you, in the tight trousers.

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They should probably choose boxers next time.

Anything that prevents this cooling is likely to impair both sperm output and quality.

A new U.S. study has found that men who wear loose-fitting boxers have a significantly higher sperm count than those who wear other types of underwear. "That's why you see seasonal variations in sperm count", he added.

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.

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