Men’s fertility have always been subject to scrutiny when it comes to linking the effects of wearing tight underwear with fertility. Male genitals that are often portrayed as being symbols of strength and virility - are not really that tough. Surprised?
Many tests and focus groups have been carried out and have tried to establish the cause-effect factor of tight underwear on testicles.
A study published recently in the journal of Human reproduction has found lowered sperm count in people who chose to wear tight-fitting undergarments but experts debate whether it is solely due to tight underwear or the change in temperature around the testicle. Heat can also be a crucial factor that can again be generated due to tight clothing.
Let’s find out some other aspects of the effects of tight underwear!
1. Boxers or Briefs - the ideal choice?
Well boys, according to medical experts, wearing boxer shorts at all times is apparently the way to go and most recommended. Ideal choice: wear the best boxers for fertility improvements. For couples who are trying to conceive, fertility is an issue which is of course linked to low sperm count. Very often, doctors suggest that something as simple as changing the underwear can improve the circumstances and improve the chances of conceiving. Ideally, the testicles are outside the body in the male reproductive organ system so that they are at a temperature that is lower than the core body temperature. Heat can really mess up the chances here and turns out that wearing briefs at all times can overheat the testes. Hence, clearly there is an implication of the tight underwear side effects.
A few steps to keep the testes at optimal temperature are:
- Avoid tight pants of any kind -- particularly during any sports activities.
- Wear loose clothing, especially while sitting for long periods of time.
- Wear the best boxer shorts at all times, the effect can be seen after a period of time of course.
- Stay away from saunas and hot tubs to avoid increasing temperature.
2. The other causes of fertility in men & combating the effects
Does tight underwear affect size?
So far, that is not the issue. But in popular studies conducted, it does seem to affect fertility in men. But along with tight underwear, multiple other co-associating lifestyle issues could also be a contributing and accelerating factor towards infertility.
Changing certain lifestyles and health behaviours can lead to improved fertility and increase the chances of conceiving.
Some factors like:
- Excessive smoking has shown to decrease sperm count significantly. Male smokers have approximately 30% higher odds of infertility.
- Prolonged drug use may temporarily reduce the number and quality of your sperm.
- Chronic alcohol abuse can also lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction, and decrease sperm production.
- Excessive stress can interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm. Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including problems with fertility, can also affect sperm count.
- Medications taken under chemotherapy, anabolic steroids, other similar diseases; as well as medication that decrease sperm motility such as sulfasalazine and nitrofurantoin, should be avoided.
- Anabolic steroid use causes testicular shrinkage and sperm production to decrease.
- Obesity can cause hormone changes that reduce male fertility.
- Prolonged bicycling is another possible cause of reduced fertility due to the overheating of the testicles.
So how does one combat the effects of tight clothing?
Well, tight clothing clearly has some serious health impacts. From the “Tight Pants Syndrome” where a nerve running along the thigh can lose sensitivity due to really tight jeans to various other health impacts- it is clear that tight clothing can make you sick apart from decreasing one's fertility.
Nerve pain, fabric irritations and allergic reactions and other infections, the list is endless. You can very well call this the surprising link between your wardrobe and health. The solution? Only one: Ditch those tight clothes now!
3. The final verdict
It is a fact that overheating of the testicles can result in impaired sperm production, and it is also true that the ideal temperature for sperm production is slightly lower than the core body temperature. A few studies conducted on a limited number of subjects have supported the belief that tight-fitting underwear can cause enough of a temperature increase to impair sperm development and production.
However, some larger studies did not find that temperature differences caused by underwear styles are great enough to be of any clinical significance.
The bottom line?
There is no hard-hitting reason for would-be fathers to give up their briefs but there are enough warnings. However, if a couple had trouble conceiving, it certainly couldn’t hurt to add room down there, don’t you think?
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Does Tight underwear really cause long term harm if not worn every day?
If experiments, expert opinions, and case studies are taken into account then yes, it can be said that tight underwear can cause long term harm if worn every day - and not just mess up one’s fertility. However, this is only when it's worn for a long period of time along with a host of other lifestyle choices. Tight clothes can make you sick - that is a simple point. But if they are not worn every day? Then no, the damage could be less of course, yet it is better to practice caution.
- Should I wear boxers or briefs at night?
It is advised to wear loose boxers at night that promotes blood circulation, will help in keeping the temperature low and of course give you freedom of motion and flexibility.
- Does tight underwear affect sperm count? / Do tight boxers affect fertility?
In conclusion, tight boxers or underwear could amplify with other lifestyle factors in causing a low fertility rate.