Study looks at boxer shorts versus underpants and sperm count

Study looks at boxer shorts versus underpants and sperm count

The abstract for the study concludes: "Men who reported most frequently wearing boxers had higher sperm concentration and total count, and lower FSH levels, compared to men who did not". 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.

They sought to test the theory that briefs, being more constricting, raise scrotal temperature and have a negative effect on fertility.

In addition, there is an assumption that the quality of sperm can affect men underwear: narrower trousers can increase the temperature of the scrotum, which prevents the release of enzymes, which are responsible for sparsogenes.

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.

Commenting on the research, Sheena Lewis, emeritus professor of reproductive medicine at Queen's University Belfast, said: 'The most important take home message from this study is that neither boxer shorts, jockeys nor bikinis led to a drop in sperm counts below the normal range. FSH is the hormone that stimulates the testes to produce sperm.

We know what you're thinking.

Boxers have always been thought to be better for men's fertility.

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The study wasn't created to prove whether or how snug underwear might affect sperm production.

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?

Sperms gets damaged by a tight fitting underwear.

According to experts, the reasons for this trend are mostly external: it can be both environmental factors (e.g., poor environment), and peculiarities of lifestyle (reduced physical activity, Smoking or obesity). For instance, their body mass index, whether they are smokers or not, how much time do they spend in sitting down on a daily basis, or if they enjoyed hot baths or not. "But if you're exercising and wearing tighter underwear, you're probably putting your testicles at risk for heat". "That's why you see seasonal variations in sperm count", he added.

So if you and your partner are trying to have a baby, boxers might be a good choice. The increased FSH may be compensatory mechanism by the body to counter the effects of the tighter underwear, the researchers said.

The researchers also analyzed blood samples from about 300 of the participants and found that the men who wore boxers had 14% lower levels of a hormone called FSH - which is known to play a role in male fertility - compared with men who wore tighter underwear.

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