New research found men who wear boxer shorts have higher sperm count

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

They also had a total sperm count an average 17 percent higher, as well as more mobile sperm.

Despite this, studies on underwear choice and its relation with scrotal temperature and male testicular function have been inconsistent.

The study included men who visited the Massachusetts General Hospital for fertility problems.

Boxer-wearing men had a 25% higher sperm concentration than those who reported not wearing boxers.

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. Could modern living really be threatening the survival of our species?

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

Both men who wore boxers and men who wore tighter underwear had average sperm concentrations that were "normal"; that is, they had at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

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He cautioned that there is no definitive proof that switching underwear style would make any difference because there may be other factors behind the link between wearing boxers and increased sperm count. Almost half of the men - 345, said that they preferred boxer shorts over bikini briefs for men.

The researchers theorize that FSH levels were higher in men who wore close-fitting underwear because their bodies were trying to compensate for the lower sperm count.

Men who wear tight-fitting briefs have sperm counts that suffer in comparison to men who wear boxers, according to results from the largest study to date on the controversial topic.

Researchers, however, also say that the findings of the studies can not be generalised as the study focuses only on men attending the fertility centre.

Did you know? The kind of underwear you wear can affect your sperm quality. The generous lads supplied researchers with a semen sample and a blood sample on the same day, as well as answering a questionnaire about the types of undies they had worn in the previous months. But more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. 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.

Dr. Jorge Chavarro, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard, lead author of the study has explained that tight underwear in men such as briefs can raise the scrotal temperatures and this can contribute to a lower sperm count and infertility. The researchers also said that other factors also affect scrotal heat: like type of pants, underwear fabric, etc.

Wearing skinny jeans or a certain type of underwear fabric could also skew the results, the study says.

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