Men's HealthDoes Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count? Unveiling Facts

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count? Unveiling Facts

Masturbation, a natural and normal part of sexuality, often sparks questions about its impact on men’s fertility, specifically concerning the myth ‘Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count?’

People wonder if frequent masturbation might reduce their ability to father children. This review investigates recent scientific studies to determine if there’s a link between the frequency of masturbation and sperm count levels.

We’ll examine how often men engage in this practice, their lifestyle choices, and their testosterone levels, and how these factors influence sperm production.

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Can Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count?

No, masturbation does not cause low sperm count, according to Dr. David Shusterman, a certified urologist. In fact, it might even improve sperm count and quality. Unlike individuals assigned female at birth, who are born with a fixed number of eggs, those assigned male at birth constantly generate sperm. This process, called spermatogenesis, takes about 42 to 76 days.

Once sperm are created, they can hang out in storage in the epididymis for a few weeks before being reabsorbed by the body. However, as sperm age, their quality and motility decrease. Research published in Frontiers in Endocrinology in 2022 showed that sperm can start to suffer damage after just seven days in storage. Additionally, a 2017 study found a connection between sexual abstinence (commonly known as NoFap) and reduced sperm quality.

Dr. Shusterman explains that ejaculating, whether through masturbation or sex with a partner, helps clear out older sperm, making room for newer, higher-quality sperm. Therefore, frequent ejaculation is important for ensuring that newer sperm, which generally have better motility and quality, have space to thrive.

If you and your partner are trying to conceive, masturbating won’t hinder your chances. Dr. Shusterman emphasizes that other factors like medications, age, and stress have a much greater impact on sperm quality and quantity than masturbation does.

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count
Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count? Unveiling Facts

Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?

No, masturbation does not decrease testosterone levels or affect testes size negatively. According to Dr. Shusterman, testosterone is mainly regulated by the pituitary gland in the brain, and factors like body weight, diet, stress, sleep quality, and substance use can influence its production.

However, the temporary fluctuation in testosterone levels immediately after ejaculation does not have a lasting effect on overall testosterone levels.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the idea that masturbation influences the size, growth, or shrinkage of testes. Dr. Shusterman explains that testicle size is primarily determined by genetics, hormone levels during puberty, and overall health.

Therefore, concerns about masturbation impacting testosterone levels or testes size are unfounded.

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count
No, masturbation does not decrease testosterone levels or affect testes size negatively

The Benefits of Masturbation

Let’s set the record straight: Masturbation isn’t just a harmless activity—it’s actually good for you. According to Dr. Carol Queen, a sexologist and educator, solo sex offers a range of benefits for both physical and mental health.

First off, masturbation can provide relief from pain, enhance circulation, elevate mood, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can even promote better sleep. Additionally, reaching climax through masturbation has the added bonus of supporting prostate health. Research published in the European Urology journal suggests that men who ejaculate 21 or more times per month have a reduced risk of prostate cancer compared to those who ejaculate less frequently.

Regular masturbation also helps maintain erectile function, as explained by Forcier, a sexual health expert. The “use it or lose it” principle applies here—if you don’t engage in enough sexual activity, things might not function as well. On the flip side, excessive masturbation can lead to fatigue or boredom.

Moreover, masturbation engages pelvic floor muscles, which are crucial for achieving strong erections. Beyond physical benefits, there are mental health perks too. Dr. Queen highlights that the release of feel-good chemicals during orgasm can uplift mood and alleviate stress.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Sperm Count Despite Masturbation

Here are some tips to maintain a healthy sperm count despite masturbation:

Maintain A Healthy and Balanced Diet

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients for healthy sperm production.

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count
Maintain A Healthy and Balanced Diet

Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Engage in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercise supports overall health and can contribute to healthy sperm production.

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count
Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Limit Alcohol Consumption and Quit Smoking

Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are associated with decreased sperm count and quality. Cutting back on alcohol and quitting smoking can improve reproductive health.

Does Masturbation Cause Low Sperm Count
Limit Alcohol Consumption and Quit Smoking

Avoid Excessive Masturbation

While masturbation is natural and healthy, excessive masturbation can have negative effects on sperm count and reproductive health. Find a healthy balance and avoid compulsive behavior.

Seek Help If Necessary

If you notice any adverse effects on your reproductive health, such as a decrease in sperm count, don’t hesitate to consult a medical professional. They can identify underlying causes and recommend appropriate treatments.

How Long Does It Take for the Body to Produce New Sperm?

It takes approximately 64 to 74 days for the body to produce new sperm cells through a process called spermatogenesis. This ongoing process occurs in the testicles, where millions of sperm are generated daily.

Sperm cells undergo multiple stages of development, starting from the seminiferous tubules in the testicles, then progressing to the epididymis for further maturation, until they become fully mature sperm cells.

This cycle of sperm production and maturation ensures a continuous supply of fresh sperm for potential conception.


Dispelling the myth, “Does masturbation cause low sperm count?” reveals that masturbation actually supports sperm quality and reproductive health, not harms it.

It’s beneficial for clearing older sperm and bringing in fresher, healthier ones, while also providing physical and mental health benefits. Focusing on overall healthy lifestyle choices is key for fertility, not masturbation frequency.

This practice is a positive part of sexual health, contributing to well-being when done in moderation.

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