Boxers or briefs?
This question has been around for a long time. You may be a boxer-wearer for comfort, or an uptight briefs fan, but your choice may have an influence on your sperm health. Researchers from the Harvard University School of Public Health found a strong link between underwear preference and sperm counts.
Tight-fitting underwear like boxers and briefs are obviously popular choices, but if you and your partner are thinking of starting a family, or even having another child, then your choice becomes very important. If you are serious about wanting to be a father, then modifying your underwear to something more loosely fitting, should not be a difficult transition to make.
The effect of tight underwear on sperm is subject to ongoing research. However, experts advise those wanting to conceive to opt for looser underwear, as it will not impact on sperm count.
Why testicles are situated outside the body
Testicles exist outside the body for a specific reason, and such is the make-up of the body, that it is an ingenious way to promote sperm health.
Sperm is produced in the testicles, and studies have shown that for a healthy sperm count, the temperature of the testicles needs to be a few degrees lower than the temperature inside the body. Keeping the testicles in the scrotum outside the body, as is the case in most mammals, is cool enough to allow healthy sperm to develop.
The make-up of the body has determined that the proteins in sperm are damaged by heat, which decreases the prospect of an egg being fertilized. This is in line with the Harvard study which suggested that heat lowers the sperm count, and leaves much of the remaining sperm with fragmented DNA.
DNA fragmentation is the separation or breaking of DNA strands in the sperm, making it more difficult to conceive, and often resulting in a measure of infertility.
Most men have a small amount of damage to their sperm DNA, but heat in the testicles will result in a higher percentage of damage which will make achieving pregnancy, even with the assistance of IVF, very difficult.
How tight underwear can affect your sperm count
Tight clothing and underwear which lift and keep the testicles close to the body heat, undo most of the benefits for testicles which are located outside the body for coolness. Heat damage and a lower sperm count can possibly become a fertility issue.
The type of pants you wear, and the fabric it is made from, also has a major impact on how much heat is generated, and how much damage may be done. For example tight underwear made from Lycra and other synthetic fabrics, will definitely crank up the heat in the testicles.
Another example of underwear which can harm the testicles, is the wearing of the thong-type underpants. Thongs tend to move around and pick up bacteria from the anal area, which can easily spread to the genitals and cause an infection or inflammation, also affecting sperm production.
Keeping your testicles cool and healthy, and some modification of your underwear apparel, will promote your chances a successful, health pregnancy for you and your partner.
Tight clothing is not the only cause of a low sperm count. Lifestyle habits, especially centred on smoking, excessive use of alcohol, lack of exercise and obesity, all play a role in fertility problems. Getting your lifestyle in order will be a major benefit to overcome your sperm hassles.
There is a school of thought that believes that poor male reproductive health, means poor male health overall!
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