Men’s choice of underwear really comes down to preference. Some like to keep the downstairs furniture nice and compact, while others prefer to let loose and give it some jiggle room.
Those who like to air the chestnuts tend to wear boxers, but those who can’t handle the chilly breeze would usually opt for briefs. Alternatively, there are those rare free spirits who just like to go commando, but those guys are another story for another time.
When it comes to the vast majority of men, however, they are divided into two categories, those who prefer boxers and those who prefer briefs.
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But experts in men’s sexual health have picked a side in the polarising debate about which one is better, and they have firmly given their backing to boxers.
That’s because research has shown that men who have a higher tendency to wear boxers over briefs are generally more likely to have a higher sperm count.
Onestudyon 700 men conducted at a fertility centre between 2000 and 2017 found that those who wore loose underwear had around 25 percent higher sperm concentrations and 17 percent higher total sperm count than those who wore tight underwear.
Speaking toHealthline, expert Dr Tomer Singer, who was not associated with the study, said: “[The study] does sit well with the fact that, biologically speaking, elevated scrotal temperature is not good for the sperm.”
Previously, other studies found that men who worked in high temperature environments, such as ceramic-oven operators or bakers, struggled more than men in low-heat control groups to father children.
Scrotal heating, as the experts put it, can also occur in men who have jobs that involve sitting down for long periods of time, such as taxi and truck drivers, as remaining in a seated position for so long could trap heat in the crotch area.
Too much scrotal heating, it seems, can damage sperm count and affect overall fertility, research has shown.
In fact, sperm count in men has been on overall decline in recent decades, Healthline reported, and that could be due to unhealthy lifestyle trends.
Singer said: “I don’t want guys to get too nervous about it, but I do believe that there is some decline in the sperm parameters that we’ve seen in the past two decades.
“Whether it’s because of cellular phones or a less healthy diet or sedentary lifestyle, we do see a trend in worsening sperm parameters.”
According to expert Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, who conducted the 2000-2017 study, it’s not only men who are trying for a baby who should be concerned about having a low sperm count.
She said: “Poor semen quality has been also associated with higher risk of common chronic diseases highlighting their public health importance beyond fertility and reproduction. So not only men who are trying to conceive should pay attention to their semen quality.”
But Florida based physician Dr Gregory D. Albertadvises: “Generally, boxers will give you more breathing room, and briefs will give you support. It is a matter of preference, yet tighter briefs will lower fertility, so if you are trying to get your wife pregnant, stick with loose-fitting boxers.”
Nonetheless, Singer feels there are much more important issues men with fertility problems should be taking into consideration.
He said: “I would encourage healthy lifestyle; encourage reduction in alcohol, smoking; I would recommend cutting down on medication that may have an impact on sperm quality before I would focus on the type of underwear that guys are wearing.”
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