Fertility: underpants news is overblown NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Wed, 13/06/2012 - 19:30 Men trying to improve their sperm count "can ditch the healthy living advice but should think carefully about their underwear", said The Independent. Apparently the type of undies you wear has more influence over your sperm quality than smoking, drinking or an unhealthy diet. Before dads-to-be ponder the boxers-vs-briefs debate over a beer, a cigarette and a burger, it should be noted that the research behind today's attention-grabbing headlines does not suggest that unhealthy living is not detrimental to sperm quality. The news is based on research looking at the lifestyles and medical histories of only men with fertility problems, who had sperm with either normal or reduced motility (movement). As such, it was only in a specific group with fertility problems and tells us very little about the general population or the effects of these vices. Also, the study has not explored the reasons the men were experiencing fertility problems. Researchers found no association between sperm motility and smoking, alcohol, recreational drug use or being overweight, although wearing tight underwear was associated with reduced motility. However, given the limited nature of the research and the mystery over the specific causes of participants' fertility problems, little can be concretely concluded from this study. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently updating its guidelines on fertility. NICE's current guideline advises doctors treating male fertility problems to consider several lifestyle factors, including alcohol intake, smoking, wearing tight underwear, having a BMI of over 29 and the use of recreational drugs. The researchers found that compared with controls, cases with low MSC were less likely to: wear boxer shorts (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.92) have had a previous conception (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.85)
/********************************************************************************/ Lifestyle advice given to tackle male infertility may be futile and could delay other options, according to researchers in the UK. Their study in the journal Human Reproduction said smoking, alcohol consumption and being obese did not affect semen quality. However, they warned that avoiding them was still "good health advice". Wearing boxer shorts rather than tighter underwear was linked to higher sperm levels. "Although if they are a fan of tight Y-fronts, then switching underpants to something a bit looser for a few months might be a good idea."View Thread
The study included more than 2,200 men from 14 fertility clinics around the United Kingdom who completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyle habits. The researchers compared this information to the levels of swimming sperm ejaculated by the men. Some factors did impact sperm health. For example, men who had low levels of swimming sperm were 2.5 times more likely to have had prior testicular surgery, twice as likely to be black, and 30 percent more likely to have manual labor jobs, not wear boxer shorts (vs. briefs or no underwear), or not to have previously conceived a child. On the other hand, the researchers also found that men's weight and their use of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs had little effect on levels of swimming sperm.
/********************************************************************************/ Infertile men are also urged to avoid being overweight and not to wear tight underwear. In some cases, fertility treatment is delayed to allow couples time to improve their lifestyles. Scientists recruited 2,249 men from 14 fertility clinics around the UK and asked them to fill out detailed lifestyle questionnaires. To try to improve sperm quality, infertile men are also urged to avoid being overweight and not to wear tight underwear.
Current guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence1 advise doctors to warn infertile men about the dangers of smoking, alcohol consumption and recreational drug use, as well as the risks of being overweight and wearing tight underwear. Smoking, drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs and being overweight are all listed in National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines as factors likely to harm male fertility.
Wearing boxer shorts was associated with higher-quality sperm. Although if they are a fan of tight Y-fronts, then switching underpants to something a bit looser for a few months might be a good idea."
Men trying to improve their sperm count can ditch the healthy living advice but should think carefully about their underwear, doctors have found. Changing underwear style could improve a man's chances of having a baby. "There is no need for men to become monks just because they want to be a dad," said Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, who was involved in the study. "But if they are a fan of tight Y-fronts, then switching underpants to something a bit looser for a few months might be a good idea."
/********************************************************************************/ Men trying to improve their sperm count can ditch the healthy living advice but should think carefully about their underwear, doctors have found. Smoking, drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs and being overweight are all listed in National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines as factors likely to harm male fertility. But research has found they make little difference — with one exception. Changing underwear style could improve a man's chances of having a babyView Thread
Schuyler - ANP Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, MS, RN. Private practice and hospitalist experience.
Question: From WebMD regarding sperm, "wearing tight-fitting clothing can negatively affect spermcount , so too can spending time in hot tub or Jacuzzi". My question is...does taking a hot bath every evening (which I do) fall into this category? My wife and I are thinking of trying to have a child, and I dont want to do anything to put this in jeapordy.
Answer: The things all these warnings have in common is temperature of the testes to assure good spermatogenesis (the making of sperm). The testes need to be cooler than core body temperature for this to occur. That's why they drop away from the body in the scrotal sac when it is hot and stay closer to the body when it is cold. It takes about 100 days from the start to finish of making a sperm. During that time you should limit your "heated" experiences (bathing, spas, hot tubs, tight clothing). Warm baths and showers are better for sperm production .View Thread
By Jeanie Lerche Davis WebMD Feature 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 College.
"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."View Thread
I think it is true that any tight cloth like, pants, jeans, underwear etc around genitals is really not good for the health, especially for male, it is better to avoid tight underwear as much as possible.
I think "going commando" once in a while is not a bad idea for men; women may have some different story Our ancestors mostly wore loose cloths around the waist, and it was very sensible Only the evaluation in fashion changed the picture dramatically
I would to admit that I do forgo underwear most of the time, and feel it really comfortable
Majority of doctors are of the opinion that better to avoid tight underwear, pants or jeans as much as possibleView Thread
By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter, XPRESS / Published: May 31, 2012
Tight jeans can affect male fertility: Doctors From nerve damage to reduced fertility, doctors in Dubai warn that they could impair both men and women's health in more ways than one
Dubai: Think before you get into favourite jeans again. No doubt a tight pair, they could just be your worst enemy.
From nerve damage to reduced fertility, doctors in Dubai warn that they could impair both men and women's health in more ways than one.
"It's better to wear relaxed and comfortable clothing than look good in a pair of tight jeans," said Dr Ashkan Haghshenas, Specialist Vascular Surgeon, EHL Dubai Mall Medical Centre.
He warned that, "Wearing tight jeans affects circulation, especially in the groin area and the knees. They have a strangulation effect on the veins and this can be very damaging. The problem usually manifests itself as a swelling in the lower leg or foot."
Dr Haghshenas said tight jeans could aggravate underlying problems like varicose veins and lymphatic disease.
But that's not all. The impact could be more serious for men. Far from the macho feel of the body-hugging pants, men who wear tight jeans could actually be risking their fertility.
Abnormal sperm production or function in the male is said to be one of the biggest factors contributing to infertility among couples in Dubai.
Mays Al Adham, Clinical Embryologist at the Dubai Gynaecology and Fertility Centre, said wearing tight jeans exerts pressure on the man's testes and increases the temperature around it. "This can have an adverse impact on the production of sperms and hence fertility."
Dr P.K. Rajiv, Head of Neonatology at NMC Speciality Hospital, said, "In Dubai, due to extreme heat, tight jeans could have an adverse physiological effect. The concern stems from the basic physiology that makes the testis drop down in the scrotal sac when the body temperature goes up. The testis has been kept out of the body by nature to reduce its temperature. Any temperature rise can adversely effect spermatogenesis and hence fertility."
He said, "It has been hypothesised that testis kept close to the body prevents effective circulation, so it makes sense to avoid tight dresses in the pre-pubertal and pubertal age and later as standard clothing."
In contrast, he said loose-fitting clothes are believed to enhance circulation and testicular temperature and subsequently spermatogenesis.
Mays said the ideal testicular temperature is two notches less than that of the rest of the abdomen. "So we advise men to wear loose clothes, avoid hot baths and not sit in the same position for long hours."
A US doctor has also been quoted by the western media as saying that there are patients who suffer from meralgia paresthetica, a serious nerve disorder, as a result of wearing skinnies. It could show up as numbness, tingling or pain in the legs.
They talk about how skinnies coupled with high heels could aggravate the problem as they tilt the pelvis and exert undue pressure.View Thread
General - Research underwear elevate the temperature of testicles and negatively impact sperm, Apr 13, 2012
Male infertility specialists have been talking about the effect of increased scrotal temperature on sperm production for a long time. It has been presumed that the testicles are designed to be outside of the body in the scrotum so that they can operate better at a slightly cooler temperature. Researching this phenomenon has never been easy, but researchers from France have now used specially designed underwear to help look into this question.
Dr. Ahmad and associated in 2012 in Toulouse, France had 5 healthy fertile male volunteers wear special underwear 15 hours a day for 120 straight days. These specially designed underwear positioned the testicle in the groin instead of down in scrotum where they normally were. As a result, these underwear would expose the testicles to slightly elevated body temperatures and the effect on sperm production could then be studied. Pretty neat! They found that all the following sperm parameters decreased over time: total sperm count by day 34, percentage of motile sperm by day 20 and percentage of viable sperm by day 34. Moreover, sperm DNA fragmentation (damage) was seen to increase by day 20. The good news is that all parameters returned to their baseline levels after the men stopped wearing the underwear.
Bottomline: This is a fun and intriguing study that supports our understanding that too much exposure to increased temperatures is probably not good for testicles and sperm production. Fortunately, few men are routinely wearing these underwear for any extended period of time. With that said, testicular heat exposure may be a contributory cause to male infertility, albeit probably a small factor, but should be considered for guys who are hanging out in steaming hot jacuzzis for many hours a week.
Reference: Ahmad et al. 2012 Fertility and Sterility 97:546View Thread
Source: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.
Abstract: We evaluated the effect fit of underwear had on sperm production in two healthy adult males in their early thirties. The subjects alternated from wearing tight fitting bikini type briefs to loose fitting boxer type briefs in an ABAB withdrawal design. Conditions lasted three months and were alternated twice resulting in a one year study. The initial condition for each subject was randomly determined with the laboratory technologist blind to the conditions. Four semen parameters were analyzed in this study: sperm density, total number of sperm, total number of motile sperm, and total number of motile sperm per hour of abstinence. The results showed the semen parameters gradually decreased in tight conditions and gradually increased during loose conditions. Although preliminary, the results support the commonly held but undocumented belief that the fit of men's underwear can influence sperm production.View Thread
Following a small study in the Netherlands (Tiemessen et al 1996), it was widely reported that men and their sperm were better off wearing loose-fitting boxer shorts than tighter fitting briefs (much to the joy of many women). However, since then a more rigorous study reported no difference in scrotal temperature between men wearing briefs and men wearing boxer shorts, although both types of underwear increased the scrotal temperature compared to wearing no underwear at all (Munkelwitz and Gilbert 1998).View Thread
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