Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
If you are more aware of maximizing your fertility, it may be time to try new underwear. A new study comparing boxer shorts and briefs has led to some interesting findings. For one, boxer shorts appear to increase sperm concentration. In contrast, tight underwear decreases sperm count.
Types of Male Underwear
Men's underwear comes in many forms. There are boxer shorts, boxer briefs, and briefs, notwithstaning sports related underwear such as the seamless non-chaffing scuplted types and the good old jockstrap.
Boxer shorts are generally cotton and loose fitting, however, if you walk a lot, head to the gym or partake in active sports you may find that these 'ride up' and start to become uncomfortable.
Boxer briefs may also be referred to a trunks. These are still a short but slightly tighter and 'fitted', this sculpted design is often used for sports or athletic underwear which support your gentials and mimize chaffing if the correct materials are used. If you are participating in sports that are likely to make you perspire, then ensure you don't wear cotton and look at quick drying and wicking materials.
Briefs can also be referred to as 'Y-fronts'. These are fitted tightly around the buttocks and genitals. The material doesn't drop below the hip joint area, they often aren't considered as 'trendy' as boxer briefs or boxer shorts but are very supportive.
Tights are sometimes used as underwear if very cold climates. They are tight fitting to the fulll length or generally three quarters of the leg. They're used for insulation to maintain warmth.
The type of mens underwear you choose can have a profound effect on the health of your sperm. For instance, some studies show that briefs can negatively affect sperm production, while others have found that boxer briefs can help men conceive. A Piedmont urologist, Richard Jadick, says that boxers can help men conceive by lowering the temperature of their testicles, which is important for sperm production. Boxer briefs are also better for men to wear while working out, because they provide more support.
While some studies have shown that tighty-whiteys can lower sperm count, others have found that men wearing boxers, jockeys, and briefs have higher sperm concentrations than those wearing tight-fitting briefs. This may be because men who wear boxers, jockeys, and brief are able to compensate for the increased temperature of their unmentionables.
A recent study found that wearing mens underwear that is too tight affects sperm count. Although the findings may be related to temperature, it is clear that mens underwear does affect fertility. It is crucial that the temperature of the testes stay lower than the body's core temperature. This prevents the testes from overheating, which can prevent them from producing enough sperm.
The researchers found that men who wore boxer shorts produced higher sperm concentrations and sperm count than those who wore briefs. They also observed that boxer wearers produced sperm with higher swimming capabilities. This is important because the sperm that swim are more likely to reach the egg and fertilize it. The researchers also analyzed the impact of smoking and physical activity on the sperm concentrations and reproductive hormones in men.
Let's take a closer look at how each type may affect fertility in men:
Boxers have higher sperm concentration
A new study has found that men who wear boxers have higher sperm concentrations and motility in their sperm. This means that these sperm can move through the female reproductive system and fertilize the egg. The study also found that boxer-wearing men had higher follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which encourage the testicles to produce more sperm.
The study looked at semen samples from 656 men, who were selected from couples who were seeking infertility treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital. The men filled out a questionnaire regarding their underwear choice and the number of sperm they produced. The researchers compared men who wore boxers to those who wore other underwear. After correcting for age and weight, the study also showed that men who wear boxers have higher sperm concentrations and higher numbers of swimming sperm. But it found no significant differences in other reproductive hormones. Even though these results are striking, doctors aren't recommending men switch to boxers immediately. There are many factors to consider, such as smoking habits, physical activity, and diet.
Tight underwear lowers sperm count
Tight men's underwear lowers the sperm count, according to a new study. The researchers compared sperm counts and quality in men wearing tight and loose boxers. After accounting for age, weight, and other factors, the researchers found that men wearing tighter underwear had a lower sperm count.
Heat is a factor
The researchers say that tight underwear lowers sperm counts because they affect sperm temperature. Sperm production is sensitive to temperature and needs to be produced at lower temperatures than those found in the abdomen. Tight underwear causes the testes to be pulled closer to the abdomen, raising the temperature in the scrotum.
Avoid Man-made Fibers
While the tightness and shape of the underwaer should be considered if you are looking to enhance your fertility, materials also need to be accounted for.
Cotton is often the preferred choice for male underwear. It is naturally breathable, and unlikely to cause any irritation.
However, for sports, moisture wicking man-made fibres are often ideal. When these get wet they dry easily and do not chaff. However, they can cause odour and may trap heat.
Furthermore, while cotton is breathable, materials such as nylon or polyester may dry quicker and feel more comfortable by not creasing or rubbing they can trap moisture and heat which will allow bacteria to thrive if they are worn for long periods of time.
Research suggests that the ideal underwear for men is cotton boxer shorts - a loose and breathable design.
You should avoid wearing tight and highly supportive garments as they can increase scotal heat which will affect sperm production and overall health.
Man-made fibers and sculpted underwear is ideal for sporting pursuits, but only wear them for those activities. After washing, change into cotton boxers shorts to maximize sperm health.