Daily Sex For Sperm Health
Australian researchers have discovered that having sex every day can improve a man's sperm quality. The scientists observed men with fertility problems and found that ejaculating once a day, every day for one week, brought down the level of damage to sperm DNA as observed in sperm samples.
Lead author of this study, Dr. David Greening, who is an ob-gyn as well as a specialist in endocrinology and infertility commented, "All that we knew was that intercourse on the day of ovulation offered the highest chance of pregnancy, but we did not know what was the best advice for the period leading up to ovulation or egg retrieval for IVF. I thought that frequent ejaculation might be a physiological mechanism to improve sperm DNA damage, while maintaining semen levels within the normal, fertile range." Greening practices at Sydney IVF which is based in Wollongong, Australia.
In order to test this idea, Greening observed 118 men who demonstrated high levels of DNA damage according to the values listed in the DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI). In order to be eligible for Greenings' study, men had to have DNA damage present in at least 15% of their sperm. The participants were requested to ejaculate each day over the course of a week. No treatments were given to the men, nor were any lifestyle changes encouraged.
At the beginning of the study, levels of DNA damage to the men's sperm was anywhere from between 15%-98% DFI. The average DFI of the group as a whole was at 34% after abstaining from ejaculation for three days.
At Sydney IVF, a DFI count (count of sperm DNA damage) of lower than 15% is considered optimal, while a DFI of 15%-24% is considered good. A DFI of 25%-29% is judged fair, while a DFI that is greater than 29% is called poor. Greening cautions that each lab has its own assigned values for judging sperm DNA damage, although he says that the differences won't be very great.
After seven days of ejaculating daily, the researchers evaluated the men's sperm. Dr. Greening found that 81% of the participants had shown a 12% decrease in sperm DNA damage, while 19% of them had an average of a 10% increase in sperm DNA damage. The total average of the trial group fell to 26% DFI.
Greening says that even though 26% is still considered only "fair" for sperm quality, it's important to bear in mind that this average includes those 19% who showed an increase in DNA damage as well as the 81% who showed a decrease in DNA damage. The scientist is convinced that frequent ejaculation does improve sperm quality and posits that this is due to the fact that sperm don't hang out for very long in the testicular ducts and the epididymis where they may be exposed to reactive oxygen species, cells that in large quantities are known to cause cell damage.