We know that sperm counts are dependent on temperature.
But does which type of underwear you choose make any real difference?
Does tight underwear raise the temperature of the testicles and lower sperm quality?
Can it affect a man’s testosterone?
What underwear should men wear — or does it matter at all?
That’s what I wanted to find out today.
This study starts us with what we know.
The highest sperm counts happen when the temperature of the testicles is lower than the rest of the body.
Heat damages sperm and slows production.
That’s why the scrotum hold a man’s testicles — to keep them at a lower temperature than his body.
If the scrotum didn’t do their job, it would lower your sperm count.
The scrotum works like a sack which holds our testicles away from our bodies.
This distance keeps them at appropriate, cooler temperatures so that they can do their work.
This next study observed two healthy male volunteers in their early 30s.
Each man was asked to wear tight fitting bikini style briefs for three months.
After that, they wore loose boxer briefs for three months.
And then they spent another three months in bikini briefs, followed by a second round of the looser boxer briefs for three months.
Researchers performed semen analysis before and after each change in underwear type.
Then they observed changes in the sperm that indicated how healthy they were.
Researchers determined sperm health by measuring sperm density and total quantity.
They measured total motile (mobile) sperm.
And they measured the total number of motile sperm per hour of abstinence.
The researchers observed that these health indicator numbers all decreased while the men wore tighter underwear.
And the opposite occurred when the man wore the looser underwear.
So these researchers concluded that tight underwear DOES decrease the quality of sperm.
But is that the end of the story?
In another study, 97 men came to a clinic for evaluation for subfertility.
Subfertility is when a man isn’t completely infertile, but he could still have a problem — such as a bad sperm count or similar.
Researchers question the men regarding their underwear preference – boxers or briefs.
They also measured the men’s scrotal and skin temperatures and took semen samples from all of the subjects.
When researchers analyzed the results, they invited 14 of the men back to participate further in the study.
They asked the men to switch to the alternate type of underwear.
Meaning that for men who preferred briefs, they switched to boxers, and those who preferred boxers switched to briefs.
Again, they measured temperatures and analyzed semen samples.
The researchers found that sperm was NOT affected regardless of which type of underwear the man wore.
Scrotal temperatures didn’t change significantly from one type of underwear to the other.
And the quality of the sperm wasn’t altered either.
These researchers concluded that the idea of the temperature effect of briefs to the testes is an exaggeration.
It’s unlikely that underwear has any effect on male fertility.
So, doctors make their recommendations about boxers over briefs without any proof that it helps.
The testes apparently do not have a preference for one type of underwear over another.
The very idea turns out to be a myth.
Now, it is a good idea to wear comfortable underwear and pants that aren’t too tight.
But beyond that, it probably won’t matter what you wear.
So, wear what you want.
Your ability to reproduce won’t be affected at all.
Causes, effects and molecular mechanisms of testicular heat stress
ARE BOXER SHORTS REALLY BETTER? A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF UNDERWEAR TYPE IN MALE SUBFERTILITY