Boxers vs. Briefs: Increasing Sperm Count
Boxer shorts and loose pants can boost sperm count.
For about one-half of couples with fertility problems, experts
say low sperm count is the cause. But maybe something as simple as changing the
kind of underwear a man wears can make a difference.
In the Breeze
The temperature of the testes is at issue: In order for testes
to produce sufficient quality and quantity of sperm, the temperature of testes
must be lower than the core body temperature.
"That is why [testes] are located outside of the body,"
explains Celia E. Dominguez, reproductive endocrinologist, Center for
Reproductive Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. "Testes
were made to be out in the breeze."
Testes can overheat when a man wears brief underwear. If the
testes are too hot -- several degrees above where they should be -- they are
not able to produce sufficient sperm, resulting in low sperm count.
Just be aware, it takes 10 to 11 weeks for sperm to be produced
-- so plan accordingly, says Amos Grunebaum, MD, director of clinical
maternal-fetal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Weill Medical
"You can't just wear boxer shorts the night before romantic
date, and expect it to work," he tells WebMD. "Anything you do that
damages sperm will affect them for the next 10 to 11 weeks."
To keep testes at optimal temperature:
- Don't wear tight pants -- particularly during sports activities. Wear loose
clothing, especially if you sit for long periods of time.
- Wear boxer shorts at all times. "Of course, they just don't work under
tight pants," says Grunebaum.
- Stay away from saunas and hot tubs.
Another tip: When you're at home, take off your pants, says
Grunebaum who is also medical director of the WebMD Fertility Center. "It
will not only help reduce testes temperature, but it might also turn her
But first things first. "The first test I suggest is a
sperm count," Grunebaum tells WebMD. "It's a simple test, cheap, it
doesn't involve anything invasive, plus, it's the only test I know that
guarantees an orgasm."