Boxers vs briefs is a common debate, but what effect does it have on your fertility? Click here to find out.
Too much heat can hurt sperm quality. This is why the testicles are located outside of the body in the scrotum, to keep them slightly cooler than your core body temperature. So wearing tight underwear that hug the testicles close to the body may defeat this purpose.
Many variables can affect your testicles’ temperature, but underwear choice is a variable you can control. Tight undergarments, especially those made of less-breathable fabrics, can cause overheating and lead to poor sperm quality. In contrast, loose-fitting boxers allow your body’s natural cooling and circulation to work effectively. And it doesn’t just directly affect sperm. One study even found that tight underwear was linked to lower levels of reproductive hormones in people experiencing infertility.
That said, if you work in environments like engine rooms or busy kitchens in which your body is unable to cool itself efficiently, loose underwear alone might not keep your testicles cool, and you may also want to take breaks to cool off.
Staying seated too long also causes the testicles to overheat, so if you’re working at a desk and sitting for hours or driving a motor vehicle all day, it’s helpful to take breaks to stand up and cool off. Similarly, people who work from home may find themselves sitting with a laptop directly on their lap, raising the temperature of the testicles. It’s a good idea to keep the laptop on a desk instead.
Regardless of whether you wear boxers, briefs, or no underwear at all, it’s important to understand their effect on the testicles and know how to avoid overheating and support your fertility.