According to a paper published on Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction, men who frequently wear loose-fitting boxers have significantly higher sperm concentrations and total sperm count than their brief-wearing brethren. Higher levels of FSH indicate that the body is pushing the testes to produce more sperm as counts are low.
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. Vij said. "We always struggle in our field to make that leap". The hormone then acts on the testes to increase levels of follicle stimulating hormone, which thereby leads to increased sperm production.
Previous research has linked increased scrotal temperatures to adverse testicular function, so the team of experts set out to examine whether a man's type of underwear had any effect.
Did you know? The kind of underwear you wear can affect your sperm quality.
The men involved were aged between 18 and 56 who visited Massachusetts General Hospital between 2000 and 2017 as part of couples seeking fertility treatment. Each provided a semen and blood sample, and answered a questionnaire that asked about the type of underwear they most often wore during the preceding three months.
They also had 17 percent higher sperm count and 33 percent more swimming sperm in a single ejaculate.
Boxer-wearing men had a 25% higher sperm concentration than those who reported not wearing boxers.
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Of the 656 men, a bit more than half said they usually wore boxers.
That finding suggests that, in men who wear tighter underwear, decreased sperm production may send a signal to the brain to increase levels of FSH to compensate for the lower sperm production. Although, the hypothesis needs confirmation by further research.
"The results from this study are very practical", Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, who worked on the study, told The Guardian.
They should probably choose boxers next time.
Dr. Michael Eisenberg, director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, agreed.
Still, Eisenberg said that "if the current study can be consistently reproduced, then I think it's something we should discuss with all patients".
But the team admitted they did not take into account what type of pants the participants wore.
"It's also important to note the study is not implying underpants are a major cause of infertility - in fact, fertility has not been measured".