Some doctors are now recommending the best way to have a baby is to have more sex.
Dr. Greening studied 118 men with above-average sperm DNA damage. The participants were told to ejaculate every day for seven days, and the damage to their sperm count fell to 26 percent down from 34 percent. Other studies have indicated that better sperm quality results in higher pregnancy rates.
Frequent sex does decrease semen volume and it did so in the 118 participants but Dr. Greening said in a statement, “It seems safe to conclude that couples with relatively normal semen parameters should have sex daily for up to a week before the ovulation date. In the context of assisted reproduction, this simple treatment may assist in improving sperm quality and ultimately achieve pregnancy.” Sperm quality is also better in men who do not smoke, drink little, exercise and ingest more antioxidants.
Some experts believe that if sperm is in the body too long there is a higher risk of it being damaged and regular ejaculation reduces the problem by getting it out of the body quickly with less chance of DNA damage. Experts said that the research is promising, but it doesn’t prove that daily sex will actually produce more babies. Greening said that he and his colleagues are still analyzing data to determine how many pregnancies occurred in couples who had sex on a daily basis.
Not all medical professionals agreed with Dr. Greenings assumptions. Bill Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Sheffield, and was not involved in the study, said that sperm DNA is just one part of the puzzle. This could improve pregnancy rates, but more studies need to be done. Ledger thought that the stipulation to have more sex could do more harm than good, and put pressure on couples, already under stress, to adjust their sex lives for the sake of pregnancy.
Dr. Alan Pacey, a fertility expert, also from the University of Sheffield said that the theory was interesting, but it would be wrong to apply the results to all men. Dr. Pacey said that if men suffer from low sperm counts to begin with daily ejaculations could reduce the numbers enough to impede natural conception.
One of natural effects of aging, beginning around 25 in most males, is the reduction in sperm count. Women also begin to be less fertile as they age. Whether sperm count, or sperm health holds the answer to infertility is not truly answered with this study. Doctors who chose to have their patients try this method of improving conception will probably find that their patients will take the doctor’s advice.