Too much sex is barely enough for the men who make it count

By Jacqueline Maley
October 13, 2004

Good news for men everywhere: the more sex you have, the better your sperm quality.

A study by Dr David Greening, of Sydney IVF, has found that frequent ejaculation improves the sperm quality of men with high levels of DNA-damaged sperm. This contrasts with the current wisdom in most IVF clinics, where sperm is usually tested after three days of abstinence.

The study tracked 42 men with high levels of DNA-damaged sperm, who ejaculated daily for seven days.

By the week's end, 37 of the men showed a decrease in their levels of damaged sperm, which should give them a higher chance of conceiving.

Dr Greening said IVF clinics rarely test for DNA damage in sperm, but it is emerging as a significant cause of previously unexplained infertility and miscarriage.

More research was needed, but it may be that up to 20 per cent of men have high levels of DNA damage.

If a man has more than about 30 per cent of DNA-damaged sperm, his fertility is dramatically impaired.

Although sperm concentration is decreased the more a man ejaculates, the better-quality sperm could be harvested and used in IVF treatment, the doctor said.

Researchers will now investigate whether the increased sperm quality is offset by the decreased sperm count after multiple ejaculations.