It’s been known for some time that if you’re trying for a baby,¬†wearing tight restrictive pants can have an impact on the quality of sperm produced, but recent studies have now shown that it could actually be the biggest risk factor to sperm quality.
It’s no longer just a bit of an amusing myth, if you’re trying for a baby but struggling to conceive, men really should not wear tight fitting underwear at all to give the couple the best chance of conceiving. In the latest study into sperm quality, it has shown that wearing tight underwear could have a more detrimental impact on the quality of sperm, than other significant factors such as alcohol or smoking.
Professor Pacey from the University of Sheffield explains: ” We did a study of 2,500 young men and we thought we needed to be worried about smoking and alcohol consumption. The single biggest risk factor we found was wearing tight underwear. Men who wear tight underwear are two and a half more times likely to have poor quality sperm than men who wear boxer shorts’
Quality over quantity
He also explained that although men produce sperm their whole life, the quality of it declined as they got older, meaning that men choosing to wait until later in life to father children may struggle with fertility the same as women do with egg quality.
The amount of sperm produced doesn’t decrease, but the quality does. Significantly, the research also stated that men fathered children when they were over 40, could be more likely to have children that were born with conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, Dwarfism, Autism and Schizophrenia – to quote: “the health of children with older fathers is much more poorer than the health of children with younger fathers”.
Trying for a baby?
Unfortunately, both men and women seem to be bombarded with evidence showing when ‘the right time’ to have children is, but back in the real world, things aren’t so simple. We have no idea when we will meet our ideal partners and when it will be the right time for us to have children. But if you’re currently trying and wearing tight pants, ditch them and opt for the boxers or commando!