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Home Blog Dan's Blog So I’ve changed my underpants

style of underpants can affect sperm count

There’s no delicate way of asking this so I’ll just come out with it, how warm are your balls?

I only ask as its something we had to consider recently as part of our pregnancy planning. I went with Jen to visit our general practitioner for a pre-pregnancy consultation. One of the pieces of advice offered was for me to wear loose fitting underpants while we are trying to conceive, as it may increase chances of getting pregnant. It stood out to me, as it was also something that is discussed if you are looking to influence the gender of your baby.

Why is the type of pants your wear important and why loose fitting pants?

Your testicles sit outside of your body as they require an environment cooler than your body’s core temperature in order to develop the sperm correctly. If your testicles get too warm, it can lower your sperm count. Loose fitting underwear is advised while trying to get pregnant to give them the chance to swing free and control their own temperature. Keeping to the correct temperature allows the testicle to work at your optimum sperm production rate. The more sperm produced, the more you increase the chances of getting pregnant.

Interestingly, I learnt this is why your scrotum expands and contracts – it brings them closer or further away from your body, to maintain the correct temperature for your testicles.

Tight underpants may raise the temperature and lower your sperm count. Reducing your sperm count literally means you have less sperm attempting to fertilise the egg. The University of Manchester and University of Sheffield conducted a joint study, which partially looked into the impact on sperm count when wearing loose or tight underwear. Their conclusion, wearing loose boxer shorts was linked to higher sperm levels.

Regular use of hot tubs and hot baths seem to have the biggest effects on lowering sperm count and so not advised if you wish to increase chances of getting pregnant.

How and why would this affect the baby’s gender?

Old wives tales, gender selection books and some of the medical profession believe that a low sperm count can be a contributing factor in how to conceive a girl.

This is quite funny, as I’ve heard this mentioned before. A while back I was in a discussion where I heard chefs are known for having baby girls, since they have their balls near to the hot stove all day. Gordon Ramsey has 2 girls and 1 boy; Jamie Oliver has 2 girls and 1 boy.

Even the bookmakers have a similar belief. In the UK it’s popular to place a bet on the gender of the next royal baby. When Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were expecting, the bookmakers stopped taking bets because the odds of them having a girl were too likely! Why, well Prince Andrew was a helicopter pilot – some speculate that the heat and vibrations around the genital regions while flying a helicopter or plane can reduce sperm count. Often pilots and particularly helicopter pilots will have baby girls. Prince Andrew fathered 2 daughters. And of course at the time of conception, Prince William was also a search and rescue helicopter pilot. So by my reckoning, and watch this space, the Duchess of Cambridge will also be having a baby girl.

Its likely just folk law, but it stems from somewhere.

I’ve tried to find some reliable studies into this, but there doesn’t seem to be any concrete evidence to fully support this is how to conceive a girl. I did find claims of a low sperm count increasing the chance of conceiving a girl by 5%, but as I say I don’t know how reliable the source is.

So I have changed the style of my underpants while we are trying to conceive. Loose ones as the doctor advised or tight briefs as a lower sperm count favours a girl? Well if you don’t mind I would like to save revealing this until we are successfully pregnant. Who knows maybe things will change during the trying to get pregnant stages.

It might sound like overkill or a pointless measure, especially since I have mentioned that I have not found much evidence one way or another. But if you do have a preference as we do, is it not reasonable to take any small harmless steps? Changing the style of pants I wear isn’t that big a deal.

Remember, warm plums are how to conceive a girl; cold’uns may increase chances of getting pregnant. We’ll see!

http://www.oxfordjournals.org/ – Povey et al, Journal study

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18407647- Smoking and drinking has little effect on sperm count

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testicle – Wikipedia information about testicles

http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/trying-to-get-pregnant – 10 proven sperm killers

http://voices.yahoo.com/five-common-causes-low-sperm-count-11113836.html

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