Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Loose underwear may be good for sperm production

Loose underwear may be good for sperm production

The researchers also noted that the men who wore boxers had 14 percent lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone, compared with men who didn't. "This was reflected both in sperm concentration as well as in total sperm count".

However, they said that there could be further factors that weren't included in the study.

"For most men, it's probably a nonissue", he concluded.

The team of USA researchers examined data on 656 men who were part of couples seeking treatment at a fertility centre in America between 2000 and 2017. "Even relatively small changes in temperature by choosing a type of underwear that would bring the scrotum closer to the abdomen could, in theory, have an effect on spermatogenesis". The men ranged in age from 18 to 56, but their average age was in the mid-30s.

Semen assessments were completed and men filled in lifestyle questionnaires, including whether they most frequently wore "boxers", "jockeys", "bikinis" or "briefs". Almost half of the men - 345, said that they preferred boxer shorts over bikini briefs for men. The rest wore tighter underwear.

FSH promotes sperm production.

Men who wore boxers also had higher percentages of motile sperm or sperm that are capable of moving through the female reproductive system and fertilizing an egg.

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However, those efforts aren't enough.

Men's underwear choice can affect their sperm count and quality, according to a new study by Harvard researchers. "Were it not for the higher FSH levels, their sperm count would probably be even lower", Chavarro said.

Loose fitting boxers like these could increase your chance of having children, study says.

So don't run out and buy a pack of boxers because you're anxious about your sperm counts, Kawwass added.

Professor Allan Pacey, of the University of Sheffield, who was not involved in the study, said: "This confirms my long-held belief that men with poor sperm quality could potentially improve things by wearing looser underwear and keeping their testicles as cool as possible". 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. It was published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction.

More information The Mayo Clinic has more about low sperm counts.

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