Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Does masturbating affect sperm count and fertility? Some Myths and Facts

Frequent male masturbation doesn't reduce sperm count. Male masturbation also doesn't affect your ability to achieve an erection. Actually, not having an orgasm (ejaculating) for several days or more may lower your fertility. This is because it may lower the number of sperm with normal shape (morphology) and ability to move (motility). Both normal morphology and motility affect your sperm's ability to get to and fertilize your partner's egg. Having sexual intercourse with ejaculation several times a week will maximize your chances of getting your partner pregnant, whether you masturbate or not. Male masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a man's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. Ejaculation usually takes place during male masturbation. When a couple is trying to get pregnant, the male who masturbates, however, may need to limit his masturbation and conserve the sperm stores for the fertilization of the egg.

Male Masturbation and Fertility Male masturbation is stimulation of the male genitals for the purpose of advancing sexual arousal and having an orgasm usually with ejaculation. Most people masturbate until they have an orgasm and when men masturbate and have an orgasm they ejaculate. Masturbation is a part of normal human sexuality. When a couple is trying to get pregnant, the male who masturbates, however, may need to limit his masturbation and conserve the sperm stores for the fertilization of the egg.

Myths:  A man who masturbates frequently will have less sperm available to make a woman pregnant.
Truth: Masturbating doesn't lower sperm count. As long as the couple continues to have regular intercourse, particularly while the woman is ovulating, the frequency of masturbation (by either person) should have no effect on their ability to conceive. However, heavy drinking, smoking, genetics, environmental pollutants, and certain medications are all factors that can reduce sperm count.

Myths:  I ejaculate, so I am fertile
Truth:  There is a difference between 'semen' and 'sperm'. The semen consists of the seminal vesicle fluid, produced by the seminal vesicles tubular glands placed below the bladder, the in vitro fertilisation specialist fluid produced by the prostate and the sperms produced by the testicles. The seminal vesicle fluid helps in motility, while the function of the prostatic fluid is not fully understood in sperm motility. So unless your ejaculate is tested in a lab, it's difficult to say how healthy the sperms are. A normal count is considered to be 20 million sperms per milliliter. So even if you ejaculate normally, but have genetic, hormonal or lifestyle issues, you may have low or no sperm count and bad sperm health.

Myths: I am physically fit, so I have healthy sperms
Truth:  You may have a healthy heart rate, your cholesterol and blood pressure is under control, but it is not necessarily an indicator of healthy sperms too. You may have hurt your testicles while exercising without a scrotum supporter or you may be skipping antioxidants, which prevent your sperms from falling victim to excessive oxidation. Strawberries, cranberries and blackberries are rich sources of anti-oxidants. Or if you are a vegan and in perfect health, you may be missing a crucial chemical element called selenium which helps healthy sperm production. Some selenium rich foods include eggs, meat, chicken and fish.

Myths:  I can't have a baby if I have low sperm count
Truth:  Low sperm count is not bad news. Most guys suffer from self-esteem issues for this reason; but they need to understand that they may still conceive normally. Low sperm count could be an indication of other treatable problems. For example, you may be leading an unhealthy lifestyle and require changes like quitting smoking and alcohol, exercising and eating right. In many cases, the sperm count has returned to normal after certain lifestyle changes. With the right advice from a fertility expert or a specialist, you will be able to conceive.

Myths:  Sperm count is the same every time it is examined
Truth:  If you have been diagnosed with a sperm count of 10 million per ml, it may not necessarily mean that you have low sperm count. The count varies over a period of days. Variation in the temperature, for instance, can affect a man's sperm count. So if you take a test after days of taking very hot showers, your sperm count is likely to be low because heat is bad for sperm health. If you stop the hot baths and have another test after a break, your sperm count may come back to normal. 

MythsBicycling, wearing tight pants causes’ infertility
Truth:  Riding a bicycle for hours raises the temperature in your scrotum and so does wearing tight pants and underwear. Operating laptops placed on your groin might also have the same effect. But all these things do not make you infertile and only lower the sperm count because of the heat. Take off your underwear before going to sleep to allow your scrotum to cool down and help the production of healthy sperms.

Myths:  Masturbation causes LOW or NO sperm count
Truth:  It takes six weeks for your testicles to produce new sperms. Neither masturbation nor sex affects the sperm count. Your body is designed to produce sperms throughout your life. In fact, masturbating or having sexual intercourse several times a week will maximize your chances of getting your partner pregnant, because you are allowing your body to produce fresh sperms at a good rate.

Myths:  The longer I abstain, better the quality of my sperms
Truth:  By abstaining from masturbation or sex for a week or two, the quality of sperm may not be optimal. More and more sperms are being produced and packed in your scrotum every day. Storage in a packed space for a long time may result in DNA damage. On the other hand, abstinence for one or two days can produce the best quality sperm. So, frequent sex is good.

Myths:  Masturbation causes blindness, acne, hair loss, chronic fatigue, hairy palms or cancer.
Truth:  Not true. In fact, doctors say masturbation has medical benefits, wrote Seventeen.com. It can relieve stress, insomnia, headaches, PMS and menstrual cramps.

What Happens During Masturbation?
Truth:  Every time a man masturbates to completion, he has an orgasm an ejaculates. The ejaculation of semen lowers the sperm count available to fertilize the egg. The male body needs to produce more sperm in order to refill the fertilization tank, so to speak and that takes time. For the man who masturbates more than once a day, the stores will consistently be lower than the man who does not masturbate. In order to keep sperm counts higher, men need to conserve the ejaculations for intercourse. When the man allows the sperm to build up in the semen rather than constantly depleting those stores, increased fertility can result. Female masturbation may also play a role in infertility. When the female orgasm takes place, the cervix dips down to touch the end of the vagina. This dip is the bodies’ way of naturally increasing fertility. When the female masturbates during intercourse, if she achieves orgasm before the male, the acids of the vagina may enter the cervix and decrease the amount of sperm remaining viable for fertilization of the egg.

Maintaining a Higher Sperm Count
There are other ways for men to keep sperm counts high. These include wearing loose fitting under garments, refraining from over indulging in alcohol and quitting smoking. The higher the sperm count in the body, the higher the chances that one of the sperm will make it to the egg to fertilize it before it absorbs into the lining of the uterus.

Tests for Sperm Count Levels
If the male feels they may have a lower than normal sperm count and this low sperm count is causing the infertility, a sperm count test can be done to find out if there are any problems in the male reproductive system. The sperm count test requires a sample of the semen given at a clinic with the results being given, usually by mail, at a later date.

Alternative Methods to Increasing Sperm Count
When it comes to increasing the amount of sperm and the mobility of the sperm, there are natural methods that can greatly affect sperm quality and quantity. The first line of defense is the diet. Maintaining a healthy diet and taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement can help increase the overall health of the body and thus the sperm.

In recent studies, zinc supplementation when paired with folic acid can increase the quality of sperm produced. Doctors have long known the positive effects of folic acid on the fetus, but until lately have not known of a direct link between folic acid and sperm production.

Maintaining healthy sperm and a high sperm count can mean the difference in fertility. With the cost of fertility treatments reaching the thousands of dollars, it is sometimes best to examine the natural ways to increase sperm quality and quantity. Masturbating less often and eating a healthy diet rich in zinc and folic acid are great steps toward achieving parenthood without any outside intervention.

Studies are assorted
There have been many studies done on the effects of male masturbation and fertility. Some of these studies have come back with mixed results, and there is data on both sides of the fence. Some of these studies say that male masturbation depletes the sperm count, making it harder for the woman to get pregnant from sexual intercourse. These studies suggest that men refrain from masturbating to help improve fertility and that you try to get your man to stop masturbating altogether when you are trying to have a baby. However, these studies are few and far between. Most studies do not agree that masturbation is harmful to fertility at all.

No direct connection
Most experts and researchers agree that there is no direct correlation between male masturbation and decreased sperm count or fertility problems. The fact of the matter is, the male body produces sperm at a staggering rate, so it is relatively easy for the body to replenish its sperm supply. Of course, you can’t get pregnant through masturbation, so it might be a better idea to engage in sexual intercourse when you are ovulating instead of masturbating so you will have a chance to get pregnant at all. The studies that we have seen show little to no effect on fertility or sperm count, so don’t stress out about it. If you are truly worried that your man masturbating will inhibit your ability to get pregnant, try to have him refrain from masturbating for a few days before you ovulate, so he will have a larger supply of sperm when you do have intercourse.

Don’t be anxious

There really is no reason to worry though, about masturbation and fertility. That is just something else to worry about, and we all know that stress and anxiety can have a negative effect on your fertility. Just keep in mind that the male body is able to make up for that lost sperm very quickly. There should be no reason why your man’s body will not be able to compensate for any sperm lost during masturbation, and you should be still having the same chances of getting pregnant whether or not your man masturbates.

4 comments:

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