Want healthier sperm? Wear this type of underwear

Henrietta Strickland
August 11, 2018

Wearing looser underpants could be a simple way for men to improve their sperm count and the hormones that control it, a U.S. study suggests. These men were found to have sperm concentrations that were 25% higher than the men who mostly wore tighter-fitting types of underwear, and total sperm counts that were 17% higher.

More than half (345) wore boxer shorts, and only a slightly smaller number of the group wore snugger-fitting underwear: 311. Their sperm were 33 percent more motile.

Study participants were asked whether they wore boxers, jockeys, bikini, briefs or "other". "This was reflected both in sperm concentration as well as in total sperm count". Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, author and a research scientist at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health also said that this study provides science behind the recommendation for loose underwear to men who have fertility problems.

It's no secret that heat in a fella's nether regions reduces his potency, and tighty-whiteys tend to run hotter - but past studies comparing different underwear styles' effects on sperm production were "inconsistent", researchers noted.

The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, also found that a hormone from the brain that tells the testicle to make sperm, called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), was 14% lower in wearers of looser underwear.

Although the men were attending hospital for fertility treatment, the researchers say most had good semen quality when compared to the World Health Organization's reference standards, and so the findings could be useful for all men.

Firty-three percent of the men said they usually wore boxers.

"It is very important to recognize that the study does not prove a causal relationship between briefs and infertility, but rather an association between briefs and a lower, though still normal, sperm count that may or may not be a cause of infertility", she said.

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.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER