Does Abstinence Help to Improve Sperm Count?
If Abstain from Having Sex, Will My Sperm Count Improve?Studies have shown that men with normal sperm count and motility can go a bit over a week without ejaculation and sperm health doesn't suffer. Abstinence won't improve your chances of getting pregnant. If you do have sperm health issues, you should only abstain for a day for the best quality sperm. Additionally, if you abstain for too long, you could cause harm to your sperm. The motility and morphology of your sperm will deteriorate if you abstain for over a week. As you might suspect, this is extremely damaging when it comes to conception. Thus, the studies state that men should ejaculate between three and four times a week to ensure a proper amount of motile, healthy sperm.
A Study About Abstinence and the Ability to ConceiveEliahu Levitas, a fertility specialist in the IVF unit of Israel's Soroka University Medical Center, conducted a study to examine sperm samples from approximately 6,000 men. All of whom had abstained from intercourse for up to two weeks. Most of the men in the study had normal sperm counts. About one-third of the men had low sperm count. Researchers also discovered that sperm motility decreased through a day of abstinence for men with low sperm counts.
What Does This Mean for Me?The studies show abstinence is mainly irrelevant for couples with normal fertility. They also show that men with low sperm counts can benefit from abstaining for a day or two. This ensures there is more healthy sperm available. Abstinence should not extend beyond the two-day mark as there is no benefit.
Ways to Improve Your Sperm Count and Quality
Since abstinence isn't the answer, what can you do to help improve your sperm quality? There are plenty of things that will improve your sperm count, motility, and morphology. Chances are, without knowing it, you doing things that harm your sperm. If you stop doing them, your sperm health will improve. What about the things you could be doing but aren't? There are many things you can add to your day to day life that will improve your sperm. Are you willing to do what it takes? Improved sperm health means you have better odds of getting pregnant.
Pellestor F, Girardet A, Andreo B. Effect of long abstinence periods on human sperm quality. Int J Fertil Menopausal Stud. 1994 Sep-Oct;39(5):278-82. PubMed PMID: 7820161.
Levitas E, Lunenfeld E, Weiss N, Friger M, Har-Vardi I, Koifman A, Potashnik G. Relationship between the duration of sexual abstinence and semen quality: analysis of 9,489 semen samples. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jun;83(6):1680-6. PubMed PMID: 15950636.
Welliver C, Benson AD, Frederick L, et al. Analysis of semen parameters during 2 weeks of daily ejaculation: a first in humans study. Translational Andrology and Urology. 2016;5(5):749-755. doi:10.21037/tau.2016.08.20.
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