Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

If you want to boost your fertility, start wearing loose underwear

If you want to boost your fertility, start wearing loose underwear

Previous research has linked increased scrotal temperatures to adverse testicular function, so the team of experts set out to examine whether a man's type of underwear had any effect.

The study probed the potency of 656 men between 32 and 39 and found that guys who sported boxer shorts had a 25 percent higher concentration of sperm and 17 percent higher sperm count totals.

Lead author, Lidia Mínguez-Alarcon, said, "These results point to a relatively easy change that men can make when they and their partners are seeking to become pregnant".

It's been suggested that 21st Century man is, reproductively speaking, only half the man his grandfather was.

That's not the only advantage to looser fitting undergarments: Men who mostly wore boxers also had a higher percentage of what's known as motile sperm.

"The men who may benefit most from paying attention to what type of underwear they're wearing are men who are already having problems with fertility", he said.

The theory is that higher temperatures caused by body-hugging underwear interferes with the testicles' ability to produce sperm, a process called spermatogenesis.


The study was published August 8 in the journal Human Reproduction.

"Beyond providing additional evidence that underwear choices may impact fertility, our study provides evidence, for the first time, that a seemingly random lifestyle choice could have profound impacts on hormone production in men at both the level of the testis and the brain", Jorge Chavarro, one of the study's authors and an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, said in a statement.

Among them, 53 percent wore boxer shorts.

Men were asked to recall what underwear they prefer rather than actually being observed, and all of the men were seeking fertility treatment - so the findings might be have been different if other men had been involved in the test.

In addition, analysis of blood samples collected from 304 of the study participants showed that men who wore boxers had 14 percent lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) compared with men who didn't wear boxers.

Men donning boxers have a higher sperm count, the new study concluded. From the semen samples the team of researchers looked at total count of sperm, motility of the sperms, morphology or appearance of the sperm and the extent of DNA damage to the sperm.

The study strongly also does not prove that there is any connection between tight boxers or underwear and low sperm count.

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