Fertility underwear for men: Boxers will help conceive

12 August, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • Men trying to become fathers are better off wearing loose underwear rather than briefs according to a study published on Thursday

Importantly, while those differences were significant, none of the men had clinically low sperm counts - so while wearing looser boxers might be better for your sperm count, going for tighter ones wouldn't necessarily make you infertile.

Compared to men who favour snug-fitting briefs, devotees of boxer shorts had a significantly higher count and concentration of sperm, researchers reported in the journal Human Reproduction.

They sought to test the theory that briefs, being more constricting, raise scrotal temperature and have a negative effect on fertility. The men provided information on their underwear choice and a sperm sample and blood work for analysis.

Choice of underwear seemed to affect only the total count of the sperm and the other parameters remained unaffected.

Research into the effect of underwear on sperm quality has found that men who opt for airy boxer shorts made much more sperm than those who wore restrictive pairs.

FSH is known to play an important role in male fertility.

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The new findings add to a growing body of knowledge on the subject.

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

"As a society, traditionally, fertility has been thought of as a female issue".

Men who wear tight-fitting briefs have sperm counts that suffer in comparison to men who wear boxers, according to results from the largest study to date on the controversial topic.

Some styles of underpants, such as jockey shorts or briefs, bring the scrotum nearer to the body, causing the testicles to warm up, while others, such as boxer shorts, are looser and cooler.

Men trying to get their partners pregnant may not have to throw out all their briefs, said Dr. Harry Fisch, a clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

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The men, who were between the ages of 32 and 39, completed a survey that included questions about the style of underwear they wore in the previous three months. "The testes of men wearing tighter fitting underwear would be exposed to higher temperatures than those wearing looser fitting ones".

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

The study has still not demonstrated a clear correlation between the type of underwear and sperm count/quality and whether all these sperms translate into pregnancy.

"We were able to find a potential compensatory mechanism whereby decreased sperm production relating to the type of underwear signals to the hypothalamus to increase secretion of gonadotropin, a hormone that acts on the testes and that is reflected by the increased levels of FSH, to try to increase sperm production", said Dr Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón who led the study.

While the study is extensive, it has a few possible caveats.

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