Higher Sperm Counts Are a Breeze with a Kilt

Father-to-be? More likely in a kilt, according to some research. (Image credit: Yutilova Elena | Shutterstock.com)

Low sperm count got you down? The problem might not be in your pants — the problem may be pants themselves.

Researchers believe wearing kilts — the skirtlike garments long associated with Scottish bagpipers — could enhance men's fertility while also providing psychological benefits.

The medical experts base their claim on existing studies that prove sperm counts improve when the scrotal area is cooler. A 2012 report suggests that wearing boxer shorts (as opposed to snug-fitting briefs) was associated with higher sperm counts.

"Based on literature on scrotal temperature, spermatogenesis [or the process of sperm development] and fertility … men who regularly wear a kilt during the years in which they wish to procreate will, as a group, have significantly better rates of sperm quality and higher fertility," the study authors wrote.

Their research is detailed in the latest issue of the Scottish Medical Journal.

Other studies have found that heat-inducing activities, such as sitting in hot saunas and using laptops, can adversely affect sperm count and sperm motility (movement).

And the healthiest, most virile way to wear a kilt? "Regimental style," the study authors suggest — also known as "going commando," or simply "not wearing any underwear."

"There are strong psychological benefits associated with kilt wearing," the researchers noted, "most notably (a) a feeling of masculinity and pride and (b) positive attention from sexual admirers.

"Because the kilt is a purely masculine garment, men need not be ashamed of or reticent about the therapeutic wearing of a kilt for a certain period of time to possibly improve sperm quantity and quality."

However, the study authors cautioned, "further research is needed to prove this hypothesis."

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Marc Lallanilla
Live Science Contributor
Marc Lallanilla has been a science writer and health editor at About.com and a producer with ABCNews.com. His freelance writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and TheWeek.com. Marc has a Master's degree in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.