In the 1960s, polyester suits became popular. This type of clothing was popular because it provided comfort and protection from the elements. But, some studies have linked polyester to insomnia, cancer, and other health concerns. The material has also been linked to skin injuries.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why, but wearing polyester underwear can lower sperm counts and other measures of male fertility. It is believed that the electrostatic potential generated by polyester garments can disrupt ovarian function and placental functions. In addition, researchers have found that it can cause spontaneous abortions.
In one study, rats were dressed in cotton or polyester undergarments for 12 months. The polyester group showed a significant decrease in sperm count and motility, and semen quality was degenerative. However, the cotton group had no change in either. Testicular volume and biopsies, rectal-testicular temperature differences, and other measurements returned to normal after the slings were removed.
Other researchers have uncovered similar findings. They have discovered that the chemical phthalates, which are used in flexible PVC plastics, disrupt testosterone production and are associated with reduced testosterone levels in both men and women. The Environmental Working Group has a Skin Deep search tool to help you determine how toxic various products are.
The study was performed on rats, which are a natural model for humans. The researchers also measured the electrostatic potential on the rat’s penis and scrotum. They found that the scrotum was looser in the polyester group than in the cotton group, meaning that it could generate an electrical charge. This caused an electrostatic field to form in the area, and it was the electric charge that was responsible for the decrease in sperm count.
A separate study was conducted on dogs. Guinea pigs were also worn polyester undergarments for 24 months. They experienced a sharp drop in sperm count and were unable to produce viable sperm. Several physiologists have speculated that the decrease may have been caused by the fabric’s ability to generate an electrostatic field in the scrotum.
Another study looked at males’ desire to sex and sexual activity. It found that men in suits had similar levels of testosterone to men in polyester underwear. The researchers also noted that those in polyester underwear were less interested in sex, and that the effect was reversible when the sling was removed.
This study also compared the effects of different types of undergarments on spermatogenesis and sexual prowess. It examined the effects of different fabrics on spermatogenesis, semen quality, sperm count, and other factors. It was published in the European Journal of Urology in 1993.
Shafik also tested polyester pants on humans. His experiment included 14 volunteers who wore undergarments made of polyester for six months. The scrotum was loosely fashioned, which was intended to avoid an insulating effect. The polyester group exhibited a reduction in sperm count, and the men’s desire to sex decreased.
The men in the study did not conceive, but they did regain fertility after 150 days. It is estimated that half of all infertility cases are due to a decline in sperm count.