June 30, 2009 -- Men with a history of fertility problems may curb DNA-damaged sperm by ejaculating for seven days in a row, a new study shows.
"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," David Greening, MD, of Sydney IVF in Wollongong, Australia, writes in his report, titled "Keep the River Flowing."
Greening's study was presented today in Amsterdam, Netherlands, at the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Greening studied 118 men with a history of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, or repeated in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure who had DNA damage in more than 15% of their sperm from sperm samples.
For the study, all of the men were asked to ejaculate daily for seven consecutive days. Afterward, they provided more sperm samples, which showed that 81% of the men had a reduction in DNA sperm damage.
That may be because the sperm spent less time in the male reproductive system, Greening writes.
The remaining 19% of the men had an increase in their percentage of DNA-damaged sperm. Greening says they may have had another problem that was "not amenable" to the ejaculation strategy he tested.
Frequent ejaculation was also linked to a slight increase in sperm motility (motion).
Greening writes that "the optimal number of days of ejaculation might be more or less than seven days, but a week appears manageable and favorable." He adds that more research is needed to see if the couples' pregnancy rates improved as a result of the men's daily ejaculation.