(HealthDay News) – Common lifestyle factors associated with low-motile sperm concentration (MSC) include a history of testicular cancer, being in manual labor or not working, and black ethnicity, while men who wear loose underwear and have had a previous conception are less likely to have low MSC.

To investigate the association between common lifestyle factors and low MSC, Andrew C. Povey, PhD, from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an unmatched case-referent study involving 780 cases and 1,469 referent men, aged >18.

The researchers found that, after adjustment for center and confounding factors, risk factors for low MSC included a history of testicular surgery (odds ratio [OR], 2.39), being in manual work or not working (OR, 1.28 and 1.78, respectively), and black ethnicity (OR, 1.99). Men who wore boxer shorts and who had a previous conception were less likely to have low MSC (OR, 0.76 and 0.71, respectively). Smoking, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, high body mass index, and a history of mumps or fever were not significantly correlated to low MSC.

“Our study shows that common lifestyle choices, other than wearing tight underwear, make little contribution to MSC and that delaying assisted conception to make poorly evidenced changes to lifestyle is unlikely to enhance conception and may indeed be prejudicial in couples with little time to lose,” the authors conclude.

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