Study participants were asked whether they wore boxers, jockeys, bikini, briefs or "other".
As it turned out, men often wore boxers (there were more than half - 345 people), sperm concentration was 25% higher, and sperm count is up 17 percent, than men, who prefer other cowards cut. According to the study, these sperms are more adept at moving through the female reproductive system and fertilizing an egg.
The simultaneous presence of lower sperm counts and higher FSH among men wearing tight-fitting underwear suggested the presence of a compensatory mechanism whereby the decreased sperm production among men in tighter underwear signals the brain to boost production of hormones that stimulate the activity of the gonads to try to increase sperm production. Vij said. "We always struggle in our field to make that leap".
Sperm production is known to be sensitive to temperatures above 34C (92F), which is why the testicles hang down away from the body.
Despite this, studies on underwear choice and its relation with scrotal temperature and male testicular function have been inconsistent.
"What we saw is that type of underwear is related to semen quality".
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The study, conducted from 2000 to 2017, looked at men who came to Massachusetts General Hospital as part of a couple with fertility problems. Their sperm were 33 percent more motile. And interestingly enough, the boxer men also had lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which helps regulate fertility. But more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.
"The results from this study are very practical", Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, who worked on the study, told The Guardian.
The effect wasn't huge, but, "if I were getting ready to start trying for a baby, I'd go shopping for boxers about three months ahead of time", said senior study author Dr. Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. For instance, their body mass index, whether they are smokers or not, how much time do they spend in sitting down on a daily basis, or if they enjoyed hot baths or not. And the authors acknowledge that they lacked information about other factors, like the men's preferred trousers styles and materials, that might influence the results.
The men were also made to answer questions regarding their lifestyle, diet and exercise routines along with their underwear preferences.
But the team admitted they did not take into account what type of pants the participants wore. Other potentially confounding factors that were not taken into consideration included the type of pants worn, and the textile fabric of the underwear.
When in comes to male fertility, it seems the old "brief versus boxers" debate has finally been settled.