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Infertility and Masturbation

When it comes to treating infertility issues, there is a lot of conflicting information available that may not resolve questions but only pose more. One of the areas of conflicting advice is the subject of masturbation and infertility, especially how masturbation may affect a man's ability to impregnate his partner. However, masturbation can also have an effect on infertility issues as they affect a woman.

Should You or Shouldn't You?

According to a specialist in urology from the Mayo Clinic, frequent male masturbation not only does not affect a man's sperm count negatively, it may actually be beneficial to the sperm count. It is contended that by not ejaculating for several days, the normal shape of sperm and the ability to move could be compromised, and add to the problem of infertility rather than improve it. The expert states that sex several times a week with ejaculation is what's needed to impregnate a partner, whether or not a man masturbates regularly. A 2009 Australian study showed an increase in sperm health and motility with daily masturbation and ejaculation. It is thought this is because masturbation and ejaculation flushes out "old" sperm and replaces it with a fresh and healthier supply.

The Other Side of the Coin

However, according to the Center for Male Reproductive System and Vasectomy Reversal, men should refrain from masturbating around the time of their partner's most fertile period. These researchers explain that in theory, masturbating reduces the amount of sperm in the semen and thus, reduces the chance of conception. This is also the most common advice given to couples undergoing in vitro fertilization and men who are giving a semen sample for testing by specialists in the field of treating infertility.

Does Female Masturbation Affect Infertility?

There is documentation to suggest female masturbation can have a beneficial effect on female infertility by changing the conditions of the cervix to make it more receptive to sperm, allowing it to more easily fertilize an egg. For a period of up to 45 minutes after masturbation and orgasm, a female's reproductive system is more conducive to conception. It is also contended that female masturbation changes the pH of the cervix and protects against infection, which can have an effect on infertility, as well as increasing the acidity of the cervix and removing "debris."

Although there is conflicting information regarding masturbation and infertility, the majority of documentation indicates regular masturbation does not have an adverse affect on fertility, but may actually increase the chances of a successful conception. However, it is advised that the subject be discussed with an infertility expert for the best results.

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