More Sex, Better Sperm
Australian researchers have found that indulging in a bit of sex each day can bring about vast improvements in the quality of sperm. The experimenters kept a close eye on infertile males and discovered that a daily bout of ejaculation, every day for a period of one week, reduced sperm DNA damage levels as observed in sperm samples.
Dr. David Greening, lead author of the study, is not just an obstetrician/gynecologist, but also specializes in the fields of endocrinology and infertility. Greening said that until his study, scientists only knew that having sex on the woman's day of ovulation yielded the best conception rates. But what they didn't know was what to tell couples about how to conduct themselves in the days leading to ovulation or prior to egg retrieval for the purposes of IVF. Greening had an idea that frequent ejaculation might be nature's way of ridding sperm of DNA damage while keeping semen levels in the fertile, normal range. Greening has a practice at Sydney IVF which is located in Wollongong, Australia.
Greening decided to test his theory by enlisting 118 male participants who displayed high levels of damage to their DNA when checked according to the values registered in the DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI). For men to be eligible for the study, they had to have the DNA of 15% of their sperm in a damaged state. The men were asked to ejaculate every day for a week. No treatments were administered to the men, and they were not asked to make any lifestyle changes.
At the inception of this study, the levels of sperm DNA damage in the participants ranged from 15%-98% DFI. The average level of DFI within the group stood at 34% after the men had refrained from ejaculating over a period of three days.
After a week of daily ejaculation, the participants had their sperm assessed. Dr. Greening saw that there was a 12% decrease in the sperm DNA damage of 81% of the participants, while there was an average 10% increase in the sperm DNA damage for 19% of the men. In total, the group average for sperm DNA damage dropped to 26% DFI.
Greening says this figure of 26% is still not terrific in terms of sperm quality, but suggests that frequent ejaculation holds promise as a natural way of clearing this type of DNA damage. The scientist believes that the practice of frequent ejaculation means that sperm doesn't hang around in the epididymis and testicular ducts for a long enough time to sustain cellular damage.