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Slip-type underpants can damage semen quality

The wearing of very tight underwear by men increases the temperature of the testicles, which can damage the quality of sperm and reduce their reproductive capacity, according to a recent study. 

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There are men who wear brief pants and others that are more boxers. A matter of taste or comfort. However, there could be a new motive that influences this decision, and that is, a new study, conducted by a team of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (USA), has come to the conclusion that the type of underwear that is used can interfere in the quality of the sperm and in its reproductive power.

Thus, as stated in the research published in the journal Human Reproduction, wearing boxer briefs more loose makes 25% higher the concentration of semen in each ejaculation, a total sperm count 17% higher and a third more of mobility within the uterus than those of men who opted for the most tight underwear.

Another finding was that those who used slips had higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), associated with the impulse of semen production. According to the researchers explain, this could be due to the fact that the body increases the segregation of this substance - key to conception - to counteract the negative effects of this type of underpants on reproduction.

The tests to obtain these results were made in 656 patients of the General Hospital of Massachusetts between 32 and 39 years that were being submitted to a process of fertility, to which they were asked about the type of underwear that they had used during the three last months and 53% of them declared putting on boxers while the rest wore slips.

Temperature is key to sperm

Researchers believe they know the reasons why underpants are critical to reproductive health, and everything points to heat. Thus, for the sperm to be in optimal conditions, it must be between three and four degrees below body temperature, which is still around 33ºC or 34ºC, which is why the scrotum is in the outer part of the body , to be able to comply with these conditions.

However, if tight briefs are used, the heat of the scrotum increases, and with it, the quality and quantity of sperm is put at risk. In addition, the authors recommend not to practice cycling and a very extraordinary use of saunas and jacuzzis if you are thinking of having children. They also emphasize that this effect is reversible, so that only three months without using slips can make the semen recover its optimal state.

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Spermatogenesis is the process in which sperm are produced from the primordial germ cells of man (spermatogonia) by mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis. It is the mechanism of gametogenesis in man and develops in the testes (male gonads), although the final maturation of the sperm takes place in the epididymis.

Most mammals temperature has an inhibitory effect on spermatogenesis, affecting the following factors:

• Blocking the maturation of spermatogonia at body temperature.

• The β-polymerase and the spermatogenic recombinase have an optimum operating temperature slightly lower (1-3 ° C) at body temperature. Temperatures above optimal inhibits its activity noticeably.

• To avoid these effects of heat inhibition, the testes are placed outside in most mammals.

• The scrotum contains no fat and your muscles react to the heat by extending or contracting the skin. The arterial (heat) and venous (cold) systems also intervene in the regulation of scrotal temperature.

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This article was published on Wednesday 12 June, 2019.

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