Medicine

Men who wear boxer shorts have far better sperm, study suggests

Men who wear boxer shorts have far better sperm, study suggests

345 men said that they liked boxer shorts, while 311 said that they wore tight underwear. Their sperm were 33 percent more motile.

Semen assessments were completed and men filled in lifestyle questionnaires, including whether they most frequently wore "boxers", "jockeys", "bikinis" or "briefs".

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 levels of follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH was found to be higher among men who wore briefs regularly.

A number of small-scale studies previously have linked tighter underwear to lower sperm counts, Chavarro said.

FSH promotes sperm production. "There seems some compensation, but this compensation is not sufficient to bring them back to sperm counts of men who wear looser-fitting underwear".

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But if that isn't enough to put men off of wearing them in favour of boxers, this new study just might.

Scientists made the findings taking into account external factors such as age, body mass, and smoking.

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". Their sperm is also of a lower quality.

"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.

The study was published August 8 in the journal Human Reproduction. 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 might be predicted that men who spend much of their day seated and also wear tight underwear would be most likely to suffer a fall in their sperm production due to scrotal heating", Prof Sharpe said.