What does crotch length have to do with fertility in men? Apparently a lot, according to a new study.
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, looked at whether anogenital distance – the gap between the scrotum and anus – differed in fertile and infertile men. For the study, they measured the anogenital distance as well as the penis length in 117 infertile and 56 fertile men at an andrology clinic, HealthDay.com reported.
And the results? They found the infertile men had a significantly shorter anogenital distance and penis length than the fertile men.
Researchers said these results have two main implications.
"First, this could represent a noninvasive way to test testicular function and reproductive potential in adult men," Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a male reproductive medicine and surgery fellow in the Baylor urology department, said in a Baylor news release. "And second, it suggests that gestational exposures and development may impact adult testicular function."
Eisenberg's study is not the first one to make this connection. A recent University of Rochester study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that men with shorter anogenital lengths had lower sperm counts, poorer quality sperm, lower sperm concentrations and lower motility.
The results of the Baylor study are published in the online edition of PLoS One.