Harvard Study Determines What Type Of Underwear Is Best When It Comes To The Health Of Your Sperm

by 7 months ago
Man's clean black socks and boxer shorts. Underwear drying on laundry rope at white wall. Dry cleaning. Regular washing. Daily routine. Clothes care.

iStockphoto / FotoDuets

Let’s shift gears for a minute from the usual BroBible topics and talk about the health of your swimmers, shall we?

This is a topic that first entered my life via NBC’s Seinfeld. In Season 6, Episode 4 ‘The Chinese Woman‘ Kramer goes to a fertility clinic where he discovers that he’s got a low sperm count and he’s told to stop wearing Jockey shorts. Instead of switching to boxers, Kramer decides to go Commando.

Ever since seeing that episode back in October 1994 I’ve had it in my head that briefs were bad for sperm production. I hadn’t even taken my first Sex-Ed class in school by that age but it was understood ‘briefs = bad’ when it comes to your boys.

Flash forward to present day and this is a topic that has still puzzled scientists throughout the years, until now. A recent study out of Harvard has determined the best type of underwear for men when it comes to healthy sperm production.

Unsurprisingly, ‘tighty whities’ aren’t at the top of the list.

For this study, the largest of its kind to look at underwear and semen quality, researchers collected information and semen samples from 656 men who were part of couples that were seeking treatment at a fertility center. The men, who were between the ages of 32 and 39, completed a survey that included questions about the style of underwear they wore in the previous three months. Options included boxers, jockeys, bikini, briefs, and other.

Among the study participants, 53% reported usually wearing boxers. Analysis of semen samples showed that these men had 25% higher sperm concentrations and 17% higher total sperm counts when compared with men who did not primarily wear boxers. Men who wore boxers also had higher percentages of motile sperm, or sperm that are capable of moving through the female reproductive system and fertilizing an egg. The most significant difference in sperm concentration was seen between men who wore boxers and men who wore jockeys and briefs.

“Beyond providing additional evidence that underwear choices may impact fertility, our study provides evidence, for the first time, that a seemingly random lifestyle choice could have profound impacts on hormone production in men at both the level of the testis and the brain,” said Jorge Chavarro, senior author of the study and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology. (via)

It’s amazing that something as simple as choosing your preferred style of underwear way back before puberty can have such a profound impact on your life. Also, how can anyone alive wear boxers? They’re just so damn loose.

It’s boxer briefs of bust. The freedom afforded by boxer shorts is more than any man needs. In fact, the spaciousness of boxer shorts is downright dangerous in some instances. With boxer briefs, everything’s where it should be.

There are some potential problems with the study. For starters, they sampled 656 men who were part of a couple seeking treatment at a fertility center. So there’s possibly a higher likelihood that these men already had sperm production complications aside from the underwear.

Beyond that, they had the participants self-reported what type of underwear they wear so there’s some wiggle room there on whether or not they were truthful.

Why would any guy lie in an anonymous study about the type of underwear he wears? I don’t have the answer to that. Then again, I also don’t know what guy would wear ‘bikinis’.

You can read the full press release from Harvard by checking out that link if you want to learn more. There’s also this article over on Gizmodo.

TAGSBoxer BriefsBoxer ShortsBriefsHealthMen's UnderwearSperm ProductionUnderwear