( Mol Androl 1994 V6 23-31 )
Effect of different types of fabric on human spermatogenesis


This investigation was conducted to evaluate the effect of textile fabric on spermatogenesis in 41 human volunteers (mean age 40.6 years). Eight acted as controls and 33 were divided into 3 equal groups: The 1st wore underpants of pure polyester, the 2nd of pure cotton and the 3rd of a 50/50% mix of the two. The pants were worn continuously for 18 months during which semen character, testicular temperature, and hormones (serum testosterone, FSH, LH, prolactin) were examined. Testicular biopsy was performed when the semen revealed an abnormal pattern. After 18 months, the pants were removed, and the aforementioned investigations were repeated through another 12 months. The results were statistically analyzed. There were insignificant changes in the testicular temperature and serum hormones (P > 0.05) in all groups throughout the period of study. In the polyester group, 4 volunteers showed significant decrease of sperm count (P < 0.001) by the 14th month. Testicular biopsy revealed degenerative changes. However, the semen pattern became normal 4 months after the pants had been removed in 1, and after 6 months in 3 volunteers. In the mixed polyester/cotton group, one volunteer became oligospermic in the 10th month; 8 months after removal of the pants, his semen pattern returned to the pre-test level. In contrast, the cotton and control groups showed insignificant changes (P > 0.05) in these parameters during the 30 months of study. The polyester pants had a deleterious effect on the spermatogenesis in some volunteers which was reversed when the garment was removed. The cause is so far unknown, but it would appear that the electrostatic potentials generated by the polyester fabric have a role in it.


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