Boxers or Briefs? Sperm Counts Really Affected By Underwear, Said Harvard Researchers

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Which underwear is better – boxers or briefs? The old dispute is now settled for good! A group of researchers found that whoever wants to have a child, they should go for boxers.

The paper was published on 8 August in the journal Human Reproduction, showing that men who wore boxers that were loose had a higher sperm concentration compared to the ones that wore briefs.

Underwear Impacts Hormone Production in Men

The lead author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health stated that their findings show how an easy change in men’s clothing is important “when they and their partners are seeking to become pregnant.”

In their research, the team gathered 656 men between 32 and 39 years old. They collected semen samples and asked the participants about their underwear preferences.

Almost half of the participants (53%) wore boxers. Compared to the other half that wore briefs, the sperm concentration was 25% higher. Total sperm counts were also higher (17%). The study also found that the sperm of men who wore boxers is better at moving through the reproductive system of the female partner, increasing the chances of fertilizing an egg.

According to blood samples from almost 300 participants, the men who wore boxers had 14% lower levels of FSH compared to the ones wearing briefs. The FSH is a hormone is linked to male fertility. The authors theorize this is a mechanism of compensating the low sperm level in brief-wearers’ bodies.

One of the authors of the study and an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology (Harvard), stated:

“Beyond providing additional evidence that underwear choices may impact fertility, our study provides evidence, for the first time, that a seemingly random lifestyle choice could have profound impacts on hormone production in men at both the level of the testis and the brain.”

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere