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Boxers and briefs hanging on a laundry line

Boxers or briefs?

Should men wear boxers or briefs? For some, it’s a matter of comfort. For others, it’s about style. But which one is actually healthier for you?

Richard Jadick, D.O., a Piedmont urologist, takes on the great underwear debate.

The advantages of boxers

“Boxers are great when you’re trying to conceive and when you are trying to let your scrotum do what it’s supposed to do, which is to pull the testicles close, but then let them descend so they are at the right temperature,” says Dr. Jadick.

Sperm production is at its best when testicles are 2 to 4 degrees below body temperature, around 96 degrees.

“If you’re wearing tight underwear, your testicles will be up against your skin,” says Dr. Jadick.  “And your testicles will be running around 98.6 degrees, which is the temperature of the body. So they don’t produce sperm as well.”

The advantages of briefs

“The advantages of briefs are that the testicles aren’t swinging in the breeze, and they are supported so you don’t pull the cremaster muscle,” says Dr. Jadick. “The cremaster muscle lowers and raises the testicles in order to control their temperature.”

Briefs also provide better support for men when they are working out.

“If you’re doing any kind of activity, wearing boxers is going to allow your testicles to swing,” says Dr. Jadick.  “And if they swing, they are going to hit the side of your leg, which can lead to more injury and trauma. So support is best.”

Which underwear is better?

“I tell all of my patients with testicular pain that they need to wear supportive underwear to prevent the testicles from moving around too much,” says Dr. Jadick. “And I tell patients who are infertile or having fertility problems that they should wear loose underwear [like boxers]. Let your scrotum do the work.”

And if you are stuck somewhere in the middle, Dr. Jadick offers the following recommendation.

“I like boxer briefs,” says Dr. Jadick. “In general, it gives you a little more support than anything else.”

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