Researchers also found that men who wore boxers had 14 percent lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
And now, a new study by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health adds more fuel to the long-running underwear superiority war by confirming that tightly fitting gonad garments are associated with reduced sperm concentration and counts using the largest-ever cohort of reproductive age men.
They sought to test the theory that briefs, being more constricting, raise scrotal temperature and have a negative effect on fertility.
Briefs can raise the temperature of the scrotum, which can lower sperm counts, according to Dr. Jorge Chavarro, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard and a lead author of the study, published Wednesday in Human Reproduction.
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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.
However, researchers noted that none of the sperm counts measured were below the normal range, implying that underwear is not a major factor in pregnancy.
In a study of 656 men, by researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, in the USA, boxer short wearers had a 25% higher sperm concentration than men in tight-fitting underwear. "And unless you're in a fertility clinic you don't know what your sperm count is".
Still, Eisenberg said that "if the current study can be consistently reproduced, then I think it's something we should discuss with all patients".
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Wearing looser underpants could be a simple way for men to improve their sperm count and the hormones that control it, a USA study suggests.
The men provided semen and blood samples and answered questions about the type of underwear they wore most frequently.
For men, deciding between boxers and briefs may be about more than just comfort - men's underwear choices may affect their sperm health, a new study suggests. "The testes of men wearing tighter fitting underwear would be exposed to higher temperatures than those wearing looser fitting ones".
Other lifestyle activities of these men were also seen. "Men who may benefit the most are men who've been trying a while and continue to struggle getting their partners pregnant". "But if you're exercising and wearing tighter underwear, you're probably putting your testicles at risk for heat". In addition to this, the researchers noticed that the shape of the sperm in these men were much better. "This was reflected both in sperm concentration as well as in total sperm count". "It's lower in hotter seasons".
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The study found underwear choice could actually be a "key regulator" of sexual development and reproduction.