Question: What’s the ideal amount of time for men with low sperm counts to abstain (refrain from sex or masturbation) before giving a sperm sample to a clinic or trying to get their partners pregnant?
Answer: Just long enough for sperm concentration to peak, but not so long that quality starts to degrade. And, according to a new study, that period of time is one day.
Researchers at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, studied more than 6,000 men to determine this ideal abstinence period. (In men with normal sperm counts, abstinence does not seem to affect number or quality of sperm.)
The advice from the scientists? Taking one day off before giving a sample or trying to conceive (in other words, having sex every other day rather than every day) is just right. Just don’t take a week off!
A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of Conceive Magazine.
Related Topics: Male Factor Infertility; Male Fertility; Your Relationship and Trying to Conceive