Ditch your Y-fronts to have a baby

Switching to roomier smalls could improve sperm quality a new study suggests

However, the study does not explore whether the occupation of the men and the length of time that they spend seated were also important, he said.

Scientists at the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health tested 656 men and found that those who wore boxers had 25% more sperm per millilitre and 17% in each ejaculate than those that wore briefs, jockeys or smaller trousers.

At least, they've determined which option is better if having a child is an immediate goal. It was published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction.

A researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the study's lead author said in a press release, "These results point to a relatively easy change that men can make when they and their partners are seeking to become pregnant".

Semen assessments were completed and men filled in lifestyle questionnaires, including whether they most frequently wore "boxers", "jockeys", "bikinis" or "briefs".

The researchers found men who reported primarily wearing boxers had a 25 per cent higher sperm concentration and 17 per cent higher total count, compared to those who usually wore a different type of underwear. This proven link between temperature and fertility is often the linchpin of pro-boxer arguments presented during debates with briefs wearers.

That is not the only benefit for people who wear boxers or any loose-fitting underwear, these men also have a higher percentage of what is known as motile sperm. These sperm are more adept at moving through the female reproductive system and fertilizing an egg, according to the study.

Harvard University researchers have done the most comprehensive study to date into the effect of underwear on sperm quality and found that the tighter the garment the lower the sperm count and concentration.

Follicle stimulating hormone is associated with sperm production, suggesting, researchers said, that the brain stepped up production of the hormone to compensate for the decreased sperm production in the men wearing tighter underwear.

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