(WCMH) — If you’re looking to become a father, you might want to ditch those briefs.
A new study shows men who wear looser-fit boxer shorts have higher sperm concentration than men squeezed into tight underwear. Sperm concentration, the journal Human Reproduction explains, is one of a few standard metrics of male fertility.
The study found men who wear boxer shorts group had 25% higher sperm concentration, 17% higher sperm count, 33% more motile (swimming) sperm and 14% lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone than the men who preferred “tighty-whitie.”
“Results from this study are very practical,” said Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, lead author of the new study and a research scientist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Men could improve their sperm production by easily changing their type of underwear worn to boxers (looser underwear).”
“This study confirms my long-held belief that men with poor sperm quality could potentially improve things by wearing looser underwear and keeping their testicles as cool as possible,” said Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, who conducted his own study on the topic in 2012. “It’s also important to note the study is not implying underpants are a major cause of infertility — in fact, fertility has not been measured. There is a big difference between measuring aspects of sperm quality (as done in this study) and measuring fertility.”
However, there is no significant differences in DNA damage or other reproductive hormones based on your underwear choice. Men who prefer tight-fitting underwear also have higher levels of the hormone that stimulates sperm production. Researchers believe that’s the body’s natural way of compensating for lower sperm concentration.