Boxers or Briefs? Science has finally picked a winner!
Wearing boxers or briefs can affect a man's fertility and it looks like science has finally been able to pick which one is better
It looks as though the debate about whether men should wear boxers or briefs for better fertility has been settled. For the longest time, it was believed that boxers were much better for men's fertility.
A recent study from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health has now confirmed this long-held belief. According to Dr. Jorge Chavarro, briefs tend to raise the temperature of the scrotum which can reduce a man's sperm count. He spoke to NBC News and said, "This confirms previous smaller-scale studies with a larger study. We set out to take a deep, broad look and the effect of self-reported underwear choice on sperm".
The study, which was published on Wednesday in Human Reproduction, observed around 656 men over a 17-year-long period and were able to reach a conclusion. Chavarro continued, "What we saw is that type of underwear is related to semen quality. Guys who wear boxers had higher sperm concentration than men who wore more tightly fitting underwear".
He also explained that men who wore more briefs had a much higher level of a follicle-stimulating hormone which he believes is the body's attempt to push harder to produce sperm.
The study was conducted between the years 2000 to 2017 and it observed men who came to the Massachusetts General Hospital and seemed to have fertility problems. For the research, the men were asked to provide information and details on their underwear choice, a sperm sample, and a blood sample. The study followed men through their journey in the fertility treatment center and also kept an eye on any changes in their sperm.
A study published last year showed that sperm rates in men have plummeted 52 percent from 1973 to 2011. However, the reasons for the drop still remain a mystery. The director of the Andrology Center at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Ashok Agarwal, said that there are many factors which lead to lower sperm count. "We've known anecdotally that tight underwear raises scrotal temperatures and is bad for sperm count. Now when we counsel patients with fertility problems to wear looser underwear, we have a more solid scientific basis for it," he continued.
Chavarro shared that the results of the study are no reason to go and change your underwear but, perhaps, men should consider it. "For men who are thinking of trying for a baby or are having trouble conceiving, these are important results to keep in mind," he added.