What type of undies you wear is a pretty personal choice, if you ask us. You may prefer boxers, you may prefer briefs, or you may even prefer to wear banana hammocks. Regardless of the type you wear, you may be wondering if it’s okay to rock a good ol’ pair of tighty-whities. 

Well, as it turns out, wearing tight undies can lower your sperm count. 

Yup. You read that right: Wearing tight underwear can, in fact, lower your sperm count. Turns out, if your butt-huggers are hugging just a little too tight, it pushes your boys closer to your body, increasing their temperature in the process. And other than being bad news because, well, who likes hot, sweaty balls, it’s bad news for the sperm inside, too. 

Interested in learning more? Of course, you are! Read on to learn everything you need to know about tight undies and your baby batter. 

Tight Underwear vs. Sperm: The Ultimate Showdown 

In the right corner, we have bright white tighty-whities, and in the left corner, we have… sperm! Who is going to come out on top in this ultimate showdown? Place your bets, ladies, and gents; we’re about to get started!

If you do a Google search on men’s health and underwear, you’ll find that guys are searching for topics like:

  • Which underwear is best for men?
  •  Which underwear is good for men’s health?
  • Which underwear is best for sperm count? 
  • Will my underwear cause a low sperm count?
  • Are boxer briefs bad for fertility?
  • Can some types of underwear cause testicular pain?
  • Can tight underwear cause erectile disfunction?
  • Can tight underwear really reduce sperm count?


Overall, it’s pretty obvious to see that a lot of guys are worried about fertility—and with the male fertility rates plummeting, who can blame them? 

Does Tight Underwear Reduce Sperm Count?

Ever since the ’70s, briefs have been a hot commodity for guys. They fit well, give your boys the support they need, and don’t bunch up underneath pants. In the 90s, the famous Calvin Klein x Mark Wahlberg ad helped popularize the boxer-brief (not to mention kick-start his acting carer), and ever since then, most guys have adopted at least one pair of boxer briefs. 

Compared to other types of men’s undies, briefs and boxer-briefs offer a much more snug fit without loose material. According to experts, there’s weak to medium evidence that tight underwear may reduce sperm count or semen quality. While the science isn’t crystal-clear, researchers think that your choice of undies may influence your sperm health—although they are not sure to what extent. 

Let’s dig a little deeper.

A recent study found a link between underwear preference and sperm counts. The guys that chose to wear boxers over briefs had a whopping 25% increase in sperm. Additionally, their little swimmers were a bit healthier, too. But, as always, there’s some info hidden underneath the surface…

In this specific study, both groups of gents had sperm counts within what’s considered a normal range. Interestingly enough, the guys who wore briefs and boxer briefs had higher levels of a hormone known as follitropin, which is pretty important when it comes to sperm production. 

Again, do keep in mind that these are just associations—we still can’t say with 100% certainty that your tight undies are the culprit behind your plummeting sperm count. 

Okay, so what’s the problem?

Well, the real issue at hand is not necessarily tight skivvies, but actually, heat. Considering most briefs and boxer briefs are made from a warm cotton blend or synthetic materials, the fact that they don’t really breathe very well creates what we like to call a “below-the-belt sauna.” How many times have you been sitting at your desk, and things keep heating up down there? 

You see, your family’s jewels exist outside of the body for a reason—most sperm needs to be a little cooler than the body’s natural interior temp of 98.6°F to be healthy. Mother Nature—bless her beautiful soul—did us all a pretty solid favor keeping guy’s scrotums outside of the body to allow sperm to keep cool. 

There is plenty of evidence today in both animals and humans that sperm is usually happiest—and healthiest—at about four to seven degrees Fahrenheit below the average human body temperature. Past that, your sperm count and quality will start to plummet—and fast. 

How The Heck Does Heat Damage My Sperm Quality And Quantity?

We know what you’re thinking: You have the strongest of swimmers, and they are no match for heat! Well, big boy, we’re sorry to tell you this, but heat is your sperms worst enemy. 

Before we dive in, let’s first get the language straight. 

Semen is the sticky fluid that is released during that “o” so amazing moment—you know what we’re talking about, wink wink. It contains proteins, sugar, and sperm. 

Sperm is the male reproductive cell that is home to all of the things needed for baby-making magic. Inside, you have DNA proteins that can easily be damaged by heat, which can decrease the likelihood of successfully fertilizing an egg, a.k.a. the female reproductive cell. 

The thought process has always been that the closer your huevos are to your body, the hotter they get. The hotter they get, the more proteins get damaged, and as a result, the less likely you are to be fertile—no bueno. 

One issue commonly found in most studies on men’s underwear and sperm quantity has been the size of the studies. Generally speaking, there are no large-scale analyses that can lead to clear and concise answers. The results from small studies may not apply to the general population. 

Also, the studies only consider what undies the guys are wearing at that specific point in time. They don’t actually take into consideration the pants they wore, the fabric of the underwear, the men’s diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle. What if the guy that was wearing tighty-whities also thoroughly enjoyed using a blowdryer to, err, dry his genitals? Or what if he had a piss-poor diet? These studies don’t take things like this into consideration, meaning that any result needs to be taken with a grain of salt. 

The Downward Trend of Male Fertility

For the longest time, people blamed the ladies solely for fertility issues, but believe it or not, men can contribute a whopping 20-30% to all infertility cases. What’s the problem here? It is the fact that there’s not a culture of gentlemen discussing fertility. Whether that is because guys generally don’t care (that is until their S.O. does, of course), are misinformed about fertility, or are simply too embarrassed to bring it up—it’s a problem that needs to be addressed. 

According to a large meta-analysis that collected data on sperm counts from 244 studies between 1973 and 2011, researchers found more than a 50% decline in sperm count in that time. Couple that with the fact that society is not having as much sexy-time as they used to, and we’re in a bit of trouble!

Okay, so what’s actually harming sperm count?

Other than hot balls, things like chemicals, diet, obesity, saunas, hot tubs, bicycle riding, and even putting your laptop on your lap have all been linked to a dwindling sperm count—yikes!

How Can I Improve My Sperm Count? 

One of the biggest problems with trying to improve your sperm count is that there are so many factors at play. It’s kind of like when your car has a thousand blinking lights flashing—you can’t just dump some oil over the top and expect everything to work honky-dory. With that being said, if you’re struggling with fertility issues, the first thing you should do is talk with your primary care physician. Then, if you’re looking for some other ways to help improve your situation, you can start looking into some lifestyle changes. 

Umm… so, which underwear is best for men’s health and my sperm? 

We’re getting there!

When it comes to clothing, experts suggest that what your favorite pair of undies is made of can be a crucial factor to consider. Stay away from knickers that are made with warm fabrics and reach for underwear like the ones found at Culprit—designed to breathe and contour to your body, resulting in unmatched support, comfort, and style. 

Remember, heat is your worst enemy down there. So opt for cool boxer briefs that help to keep your junk, well, cool. 

A Final Word 

So, does tight underwear really reduce sperm count?

Sort of. 

Tight underwear is not really to blame, but it’s what tight underwear does to your balls—it makes them hot! So the next time you’re shopping for your next favorite pair of undies, stick with Culprit Underwear for a breathable and snug fit that will keep your boys comfortably cool. 

Try Culprit Underwear today—You’ll be glad you did!