Expert reaction to study looking at men’s underwear type and semen quality

Professor Sheena Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast comments on the recent publication by Lidia Minguez-Alcarcon et al. in Human Reproduction investigating the type of underwear worn and markers of testicular function among men attending a fertility centre;


“The most important take home message from this study is that neither boxer shorts, jockeys nor bikinis led to a drop in sperm counts below the normal range.  There are also a number of confounding factors in the study because the group wearing boxer shorts were more likely to be younger, slimmer men but they also subjected their testes to higher temperatures by enjoying hot baths or Jacuzzis and wearing skinny jeans on top of their loose underwear.


I would also question the use of underwear type as a scientific way of measuring scrotal heat.  We aren’t told what ‘frequently’ means in terms of their underwear use – how many hours a day, how many days a week – but actually it doesn’t really matter since none of the underwear types being investigated caused a problem.”

September 5, 2018