Did you know that tight underpants, shorts or trousers worn by men are sperms’ worst enemy?

Here’s the reason why:

When the scrotum is coped in clothing that’s too tight, it may cause an increase in body temperature around the genital area which is debilitating to sperm health. A degree rise in body temperature can affect the quality and quantity of sperm production.

Sperm production in humans and other mammals is dependent on the temperature of the testicles. Sperm is optimally produced when the testicles are 2-4oC below body temperature. The temperature of the testes is regulated by the scrotum, which expands and contracts to facilitate heat transfer and heat exchange between blood flowing in and out of the testes via the arteries/veins respectively in the spermatic cord. This results in the pre-cooling of blood entering the testes but it is important to note that this pre-cooling mechanism can only regulate testicular temperature to an extent.

In situations of extreme heat, the scrotum’s natural cooling mechanisms may be insufficient to prevent a rise in testicular temperature which may affect both the quality and quantity of sperm produced.

Some men are exposed to extremely high temperatures daily, e.g by taking hot baths, occupational related cases. A number of studies have demonstrated an association between sperm quality and high temperature exposure. A large case control study found that men exposed to high temperatures due to their occupation were 1.8 times more likely to have morphologically abnormal sperm. They were also 1.8 times more likely to have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for more than a year, than men who had not been occupationally exposed to high temperatures.

Studies have also demonstrated that such occupational groups have a higher risk of infertility, which is thought to be related to the consistent exposure of the testicles to high temperature.



  • If you’re fond of putting on tight underpants, shorts or trousers, you may want to have a rethink and ditch those. It is advisable to opt for comfortable and relatively loose clothing to aid a free and cool atmosphere in the genital area.
  • Seek avenues to mitigate unsafe heat exposure peculiar to your work.



Effects of environmental factors on sperm health ( www.healthengine.com.au )