Drinking, Drugs and Diet Don't Harm Your Sperm—But Tight Pants DoS

Most medical guidelines suggest that sperm count can be seriously set back by all manner of enjoyable activities: drinking, smoking, taking recreational drugs and even eating unhealthy food. A new study, however, suggests there's only one thing you really need avoid: tight pants.

The work, which is published in the journal Human Reproduction, compared 900 men with low sperm counts to 1,300 with high sperm counts. Turns out, use of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol had little effect when comparing the populations, nor did being overweight.

The only thing that made a big difference was how snug pants and underwear were. Allan Pacey, one of the researchers, explains to The Independent:

"There is no need for men to become monks just because they want to be a dad. But if they are a fan of tight Y-fronts, then switching underpants to something a bit looser for a few months might be a good idea."

To make good-quality sperm, the testicles need to be a degree or two cooler than body temperature, which is why they naturally hang low and loose. But a tight pair of pants—or even just a snug piece of underwear—keeps them close to the body, negating millions of years of evolution in the process.

The logical extension of which is, of course, that hipsters will slowly become extinct. Shame. So, if you're trying for a baby, drink, eat and smoke as much you like—just make sure your balls are dangling as nature intended. [Human Reproduction via The Independent]

Image by Onliska under Creative Commons license