A conversation topic that’s fairly controversial is sex, and by extension, masturbation.
No matter which part of the world you're in, some folks are more conservative than others. And if you think about it, it’s not exactly pleasant to overhear someone talking about their nightly sexcapades 😳
That being said, the importance of sex and masturbation cannot be understated.
For couples who’re trying for a child, having regular procreative sex improves the chances of conception. On a less serious note, humans are among several species of animals that have sex not just to reproduce, but for pleasure too. These include the bonobos, lions, and even bears.
If you’re short-handed for whatever the reason may be, don’t worry. Masturbation provides males and females with sexual pleasure as well, sometimes even more so than sex because you’d know your own body best. It might even help you relieve stress and boost your self-esteem.
However, for couples who’re trying to conceive (TTC), does masturbating affect either party’s fertility? Shouldn’t the time be better spent on procreative sex instead?
It’s time for the full lowdown.
Why masturbation doesn’t affect male fertility
On the surface, it may appear that masturbation affects how fertile a male-identified person is. After all, the sperm ejaculated do not serve their intended purpose and time is then needed for the testicles to replenish the lost cells. However, there’s evidence to show that this argument is not a sound one.
According to the scientific literature, masturbation among people with sperm may:
- Enhance semen quality in subsequent ejaculations
- Remove mediocre sperm, so that their first-rate counterparts have a better shot at fertilizing the egg
Not that you need more reasons to find pleasure through self-love, but the second finding also correlates with another study on abstinence and sperm damage. Although your sperm concentration and volume does increase as you abstain from ejaculating, the percentage of sperm with DNA damage increases too.
Last but not least, Dr. Brindle and her colleagues recently published a primate-based study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on the subject matter. They highlighted that:
- Male masturbation may increase pregnancy success rates among the test animal participants.
- Post-sex masturbation helps lower the risk of sexual infections.
On top of that, a male’s fertility level is generally impacted by his lifestyle rather than how often he masturbates. Take physical activity for instance. Males who exercise regularly boast higher testosterone levels and healthier sperm as compared to men who have sedentary lifestyles.
Therefore, masturbation does not negatively affect a male’s fertility levels. In fact, given the information above, you should be ejaculating on a regular basis, whether it’s by having sex or masturbating 😉
Why masturbation doesn’t affect female fertility
The answer for females is more straightforward, with masturbation having no negative effect whatsoever on fertility levels, as long as it’s done in moderation.
If you think about it, masturbation does not affect your ability to carry a pregnancy to full term, so there’s no need to be sexually frustrated after you successfully conceive. Paddle your pink canoe down the stream all you like.
Masturbation also doesn’t affect female fertility because ovulation isn’t dependent on having an orgasm, nor is the egg flushed out of your body when you climax.
Fortunately — or otherwise, depending on how you look at it — a lack of sexual activity does not affect the egg’s quality. This is in stark contrast to sperm quality worsening the longer a man goes without ejaculating, as discussed above.
What actually affects your fertility levels?
There are a host of medical issues that negatively impact male and female fertility and they aren’t linked to masturbation at all. For males, abnormal blood flow can cause varicocele, a swelling of the veins that drain the testicles. It may lead to male infertility by reducing sperm production and quality.
For the fairer sex, ovulation disorders can contribute to infertility, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism). Any abnormalities in the reproductive system such as polyps can affect a female’s fertility levels too. These sound like a laundry list of issues but there are things that males and females can do to boost their fertility levels.
As mentioned earlier, a male’s fertility levels are generally impacted by his lifestyle. This applies to ladies as well, so couples who’re TTC can adopt the same habits and practices. Take smoking for example. Couples would do well to stub out because it can damage genetic material in both the sperm and egg.
With regards to dietary supplements, do consider twoplus Fertility’s CoQ10 Gummies. Each bottle contains 60 gummies and every single one is packed with 100 mg (milligrams) of CoQ10. This is a fat-soluble antioxidant that may support healthy egg quality and sperm motility.
When should you and your partner visit a fertility specialist?
A key indicator that you need to seek out the services of a fertility specialist would be being unable to conceive after more than a year of unprotected sex. They would then be able to determine whether either or both parties are having fertility issues. This is important as it lets you and your partner plan ahead and take the appropriate course of action. For more information, read our guide on When To Start Seeing A Fertility Specialist.
For ladies who are 35 years old and above, this time frame before seeing a fertility specialist is shortened to 6 months. Your fertility levels decline more significantly after that age, which means your window to conceive shortens exponentially.
If you fall within this age group, check out our TTC Tips for people older than 35.
Lastly, you will want to set up an appointment with a fertility specialist if you’ve had 2 or more miscarriages. These repeated miscarriages could be the result of genetic issues, an infection, or other underlying medical problems. The fertility specialist would be able to evaluate and point out what the problem is before putting forth their recommendations to help you get pregnant again.
Go forth and seek pleasure on your own
Sexual pleasure is an important part of any romantic relationship, with humans being among the few species of animals who partake in sex not just for reproduction. However, when lovers have to spend time apart for a reason or another, they’ll literally have to take matters into their own hands.
For couples who’re feeling extra frisky while trying for a child, you won’t have to worry about your solo adventures messing up your fertility levels. These fears are unfounded and they’re simply rumours or old wives’ tales that have persisted through time. Having some DIY time is great for de-stressing and does not affect your family planning in any way.
So, there you have it. Now, set forth with confidence and take your talents all the way to south beach. Just make sure that you have enough left in the tank when the time for BMS comes around. And if you’re looking for a trusty pregnancy test kit that comes with discreet shipping to use after the dreaded 2-week wait, hit the button below.