By Eronie Kamukama
Men have a choice between wearing tight or loose underwear. This can be in form of briefs or boxers.
To most men who take the initiative to put on underwear, it is about preference, cost, fashion trends and the comfort associated with each of these types of underwear.
However, a small number of these men know the health risks associated with tight underwear. Be it fashion or comfort, according to doctors, boxers should be a must wear because tight underwear is not good for men.
Why men should avoid tight underwear
John Alex Masiinde, a doctor at Makerere University says tight underwear interferes with the nature of the testes. He says men’s testes are found outside the body and there is a reason as to why they are made that way.
The testes store sperms and the general rule is that they are supposed to be at a temperature slightly lower than that of the whole body
Normal body temperature is at 37 degrees.
Impact of tight underwear
The implication of this is that wearing tight underwear will cause the temperature of the testes to rise. This lowers the amount and quality of sperms produced which reduces the chances of a man’s sperm fertilizing a woman’s egg.
Masiinde adds that men wear tight underwear because of preference and yet some are simply ignorant of the implications. He strongly warns against those who sleep in them.
“Some of these men sleep in their tight underwear and this squeezes the testes which could interfere with the temperature of the sperms,” he says.
Dr. Masiinde advises men to always wear clean underwear. He says how often a man washes his underwear largely depends on the kind of activities he does. Men who do a lot of heavy work that maybe involves carrying loads of things should wash their underwear everyday because they sweat a lot.
He says there are health implications for a man who wears dirty underwear.
- A bacterial infection
- Wounds in his private area
What nurses say
Two nurses at Makerere University Hospital say that men who wear tight underwear get affected when it comes to fertility and sexual activity. They say naturally when it is hot, men’s testes hang low/loosen and when it is cold, they pull back. This is a defense mechanism in response to temperature changes and tight underwear interferes with it.
However, it is advisable to wear tight underwear after circumcision.
“It is important to wear tight underwear after circumcision because they allow the testes to hang up for full recovery. Boxers are not advisable because they could cause swelling on the circumcised part,” one nurse says.
This nurse warns men against wearing tight, wet or dirty underwear. “A man’s underwear is like a woman’s underwear. It should be their responsibility to keep it clean. He should wash it every day and iron it when it is dry,” she says.
She recommends men to cotton underwear because it is able to absorb extra sweat. She says men should have 2-12 pairs of underwear so that they can change daily.
The other nurse says,” dirty underwear can be very uncomfortable, it can stink and cause bad body odor. One can even get infections. A man should take care of his personal hygiene but if there is mutual understanding on who should wash it, then that is fine.”
She says that a man who does not wash his underwear daily will not notice a stain on their underwear which could be a sign of candidiasis yet this requires medical. If it is not treated, it could be passed on to a woman he is having sex with.
What men say about dirty underwear
Jackson Kubaho, a pensioner says, “Yes of course men should wash underwear every day. We do sweat and so we should bathe and wash it daily.”
Nathan Ssetumba, a mechanic says, “every time you put on a cloth, you are supposed to wash it before you wear it. Likewise, the same applies for men’s underwear. Men who do not wash their underwear daily are simply dirty people.”
Caleb Muhwezi, a journalist says, “Underwear should be washed everyday but I am a modern guy who does not have that time, someone else has to do it for me.”
Anthony Ashaba, a boda boda rider says, “Washing underwear everyday depends on how many I have. Personally I have many so I wear and keep because I am too lazy to wash daily.
Apollo Okello, a counselor says “men should wash underwear daily if they have time. Even then, men’s underwear is different from women’s. I can keep, soak and wash over the weekend when I have time.”