Should You Wear Boxers Or Briefs? Science Finally Has The Answer

Men trying to become fathers are better off wearing loose underwear rather than briefs according to a study published on Thursday

Men trying to become fathers are better off wearing loose underwear rather than briefs according to a study published on Thursday

In the largest study of its kind to date, the researchers found men attending a fertility clinic with looser-fitting boxer shorts had higher sperm concentration, a 17% higher total sperm count and 33% more swimming sperm than men with tighter-fitting underwear.

They sought to test the theory that briefs, being more constricting, raise scrotal temperature and have a negative effect on fertility. "There seems some compensation, but this compensation is not sufficient to bring them back to sperm counts of men who wear looser-fitting underwear".

The study also doesn't prove that tight underwear and a lower sperm count are tightly connected. Corroborating data on the hormone, known as FSH, was also new.

Sperm production is affected by temperature, and needs a cooler environment than in the nearby abdomen.

We know what you're thinking.

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

'There are also a number of confounding factors in the study because the group wearing boxer shorts were more likely to be younger, slimmer men but they also subjected their testes to higher temperatures by enjoying hot baths or Jacuzzis and wearing skinny jeans on top of their loose underwear.

From time immemorial, the debate about the best underwear for men has divided men into two camps: the ones who favour tight briefs and the others who love shorts.

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).

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. "But if you're exercising and wearing tighter underwear, you're probably putting your testicles at risk for heat". 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. "That's why you see seasonal variations in sperm count", he added. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH was found to be higher among men who wore briefs regularly.

The study found underwear choice could actually be a "key regulator" of sexual development and reproduction. The researchers were able to find a potential compensatory mechanism of the hypothalamus, which increases the secretion of the hormone gonadotropin when the body detects a decrease in sperm production due to the type of underwear worn.

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