Effect of different types of textile fabric on spermatogenesis: an experimental study

Urol Res. 1993;21(5):367-70. doi: 10.1007/BF00296839.


The effect of different types of textile fabric on spermatogenesis was studied. Twenty-four dogs were divided into two equal groups, one of which wore cotton underpants and the other polyester ones. Seven dogs wearing nothing were used as controls. The underwear was fashioned to fit loosely in the scrotal area so as to avoid its insulating effect. It was worn continuously for 24 months during which the semen character, testicular temperature, hormones (serum testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin) and testicular biopsy were examined. The garment was then removed, and the same investigations repeated through another 12 months. The results were analysed statistically. In the polyester group the testicular temperature showed insignificant changes during the period when the pants were worn (P > 0.05). By the end of the 24 months there was a significant decrease in sperm count and motile sperms, with an increase in abnormal forms (P < 0.001); the testicular biopsy showed degenerative changes. After garment removal the semen character improved gradually to normal in 10 dogs; two remained oligozoospermic. There were insignificant changes (P > 0.05) in hormones during the study. In contrast, the cotton and control groups showed insignificant changes (P > 0.05) in all the aforementioned parameters during the 36 months of the study. The polyester pants thus had a deleterious effect on spermatogenesis in the dogs which was, however, reversible in the majority of cases. The cause of this effect is unknown, but it may be assumed that the electrostatic potentials generated by the polyester fabric play a role in it.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clothing / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Electrochemistry
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Gossypium
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Male
  • Polyesters / adverse effects
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Testis / physiology
  • Textiles / adverse effects*


  • Polyesters