Does wearing tight underwear cause male infertility? New research says no1
Contrary to popular belief, new research published in Human Reproduction, says that unhealthy lifestyles have little impact on sperm quality and male infertility.
Infertile men are often told my doctors to radically change their lifestyle habits, but the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield suggests otherwise.
Current guidelines advise doctors to warn infertile men about the risks of smoking, alcohol consumption and recreational drug use, in addition to the dangers of being overweight and wearing tight underwear.
But research is now showing that common lifestyle choices make little difference to male fertility, based on how many swimming sperm men produce.
The study involved 2,249 men from 14 fertility clinics around the UK. The men completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyle.
The information was then compared between 939 men who had low numbers of swimming sperm and a control group of 1,310 men who produced high numbers.
The research found that men who produced low numbers of swimming sperm were 2.5 times more likely to have had testicular surgery, twice as likely to be of black ethnicity, and 1.3 times more likely to be in manual work, not wear boxer shorts, and not have already fathered a child.
The use of recreational drugs, tobacco and alcohol, as well as weight measured by body mass index (BMI), had little effect.
These finding can potentially change the current advice given to men about how they might improve their fertility and suggests that many common lifestyle risks may not be as important as previously believed.
However, experts suggest that, despite their study findings, it’s important for men continue to follow sensible health advice and watch their weight, stop smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.
In the meantime scientists will continue developing an effective male infertility treatment.