July 15, 2012
Skinny Jeans Could Cause Testicular Problems, Other Health Issues
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
The tight pants lovingly known as "skinny jeans" might be a big fashion trend right now, but new research suggests that wearing them could pose a bevy of health risks, including low sperm count, urinary tract infection, abdominal discomfort and heartburn.
According to the UK newspaper The Telegraph, general practitioner, television personality and medical writer Dr. Hilary Jones and other experts have reported an increased amount of injuries to men caused by the denim slacks, which have become popular thanks to a number of celebrities.
Jones, who is working with TENA, a manufacturer of incontinence and bladder weakness supplies, to highlight the potential dangers of the tight pants, which include bladder issues, urinary tract infections, low sperm count, fungal infections, and a condition known as twisted testicles -- a condition in which the snug-fitting slacks prevent the spermatic cord from moving freely, potentially cutting off blood supply to the testicles and requiring surgery to prevent gangrene from setting in.
"I have seen several cases of men who have twisted their testicles due to wearing jeans that are far too tight," Jones said, according to the New York Daily News. "My advice would be to make sure you leave plenty of room around the groin area and that your pants and trousers feel comfortable so you're not being restricted in any way."
The advisory comes on the heels of a TENA-sponsored study of 2,000 British men which revealed that 10% of them had experienced "an unpleasant side-effect" from wearing skinny jeans, according to the Telegraph. Half of those individuals had reported groin discomfort, more than 25% had experienced bladder issues, and 20% of them had suffered from a twisted testicle.
Men aren't the only ones who put their health at risk to look thinner or more fashionable because of their tight jeans. The Daily News reported that women wearing the snug-fitting slacks can increase their risk of developing vaginal yeast infections, and both sexes are at an increased risk of nerve compression, which can result in numb or tingling thighs, the newspaper also reported.
That condition is known as meralgia paresthetica, Columbia University Medical Center vascular surgeon Dr. Nicholas Morrissey told Michelle Castillo of CBS News on Thursday, and is caused when the skinny jeans constrict a sensory nerve that originates from the pelvis.
"People who wear skinny jeans sometimes say they feel a numbness going down their leg because of the constriction. Their thigh then goes to sleep, and when they stand up, it feels like their foot isn't under them," Castillo said. "Morrissey said that the condition itself isn't dangerous, but if you keep having repeat episodes it can cause permanent damage."
The best way to avoid these health complications, Morrissey said, was to avoid wearing restrictive clothing in an attempt to make yourself look more fit. "When you're wearing skinny jeans to make yourself skinny that's not the point," he said. "Skinny jeans are meant to accentuate the way you look, not to make yourself look another way. Clothing isn't designed to give us a shape that we don't have, and that's where people get in trouble."