While some men believe that wearing boxers isn’t their thing, some researchers have come up with a shocker in a recent study.
The researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have come up with findings that men who wear boxers tend to have higher sperm counts and better quality sperm than men who wear tighter underwear.
According to the study which was published in the journal Human Reproduction, wearing boxers does not harm anyone.
Study co-author Jorge Chavarro, an associate professor of nutrition, epidemiology and medicine at Harvard said: “It will definitely not harm anyone, and it will probably help the men who are likely to benefit from a small boost in their sperm counts.”
Based on the typical cycle of sperm production, he estimates it would take about three months of wearing boxers, after a period of wearing tighter options, to see sperm levels increase.
The study was based on data from 656 men who were part of couples seeking infertility treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital between 2000 and 2017.
The men answered questions about their lifestyle habits, including the type of underwear they typically wore, and provided semen samples for analysis. (Some also provided blood samples for hormone testing.) The researchers then compared the results of semen and blood analyses with lifestyle survey responses.
The 53% of men who reported typically wearing boxers had roughly 25% higher sperm concentrations, 17% higher total sperm counts and 33% higher motile sperm counts than men who wore other types of undergarments, according to the study. The most significant differences were observed among men who favored boxers and those who chose briefs or jockeys, likely because tighter underwear styles have been shown to increase scrotal temperature, a known hindrance to sperm production.
“The differences in temperature are not huge,” Chavarro says, “but even small differences in temperature can make an enormous impact on sperm production.”
The researchers did not find an association between underwear choice and testosterone production, but they did find that men who wore tighter underwear tended to have higher levels of a hormone related to sperm production, compared to boxer-wearers. This suggests that the brain may be trying to compensate for decreases in sperm count, Chavarro says.