Many questions and myths surround the topic of masturbation and whether it affects the body. Most of them are not true, misconceptions are plenty, and facts are a few. This article will clear many doubts. There is no scientific study conducted or medical proof that excessive masturbation has any link to Azoospermia or infertility in men in general. Some doctors may advise refraining from excessive masturbation to improve sperm count, but that does not have any scientific background and is a myth.
Read more about infertility in men, what Azoospermia is, its causes and does excessive masturbation cause Azoospermia.
Does Excessive Masturbation Cause Azoospermia? : Everything You Need To Know
What is Azoospermia?
Azoospermia is a medical condition in which no sperm is found in the ejaculated semen sample. Azoospermia needs to be confirmed by at least 2 semen evaluations a month apart. There are two types of Azoospermia, and they are –
- Obstructive Azoospermia – In this type of Azoospermia, sperm is normally produced, but there is a blockage preventing the sperm from reaching the semen. This blockage can be present in the testicles, in the epididymis (a coiled tube that transports and stores the sperm), in the vas deferens(a tube-like structure that carries the sperm to the urethra from the testicles), or the blockage can even be present in the ejaculatory duct. Obstructive Azoospermia can be due to surgery, infections, genetic conditions, or congenital abnormalities.
- Non-obstructive Azoospermia – This type of Azoospermia is due to absent or very low sperm production in the testes. It is in very low quantities, and sperm count is generally very little, resulting in reduced chances of conception and pregnancy. The causes of non-obstructive Azoospermia are varied and range from genetic factors to underlying health issues, certain medications or medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Usual Causes of Azoospermia
A variety of factors can cause Azoospermia. The more prominent ones will be explained below-
- Genetics – An online statistic says that 10-15% of men diagnosed with Azoospermia are due to their genetics. Men have XY chromosomes, so the Y chromosome dictates the morphology, motility, quantity and quality of sperm in males. So this means that Azoospermia is inherited. When certain segments on the y chromosome are absent, a condition called Y chromosome Microdeletions can result in Azoospermia.
- Medication and Treatments – Other factors can be due to medication. Invasive medical treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy can also cause Azoospermia.
- Underlying Health Complications – Besides this, underlying health conditions, such as people diagnosed with Klinefelter’s syndrome, Cryptorchidism, Diabetes, Obesity and more, can cause Azoospermia in males.
- Physical Trauma – Physical injury or trauma to testicles and extensive infections may also lead to Azoospermia.
Most men diagnosed with Azoospermia become aware that they have this medical condition when they try to start a family. Because Azoospermia does not manifest in any outward symptoms unless a man is actively trying to have a child with his partner and is facing problems, they usually do not get tested, leading to many misconceptions.
Does Excessive Masturbation Cause Azoospermia?
There is no scientific study conducted or medical proof that excessive masturbation has any link to Azoospermia or infertility in men in general. Some doctors may advise refraining from excessive masturbation to improve sperm count, but that does not have any scientific background and is a myth.
The general population is unaware of what causes Azoospermia or male infertility, so this is commonly blamed on the common myth that it is the result of excessive masturbation. Let’s first understand what masturbation is and the ways it can and cannot affect the body.
Infertility In Men – A discussion
Most discussions on infertility are usually centred around women, so there is generally more awareness. The same cannot be said when it comes to men. Many believe that masturbation is linked in some way to infertility. No scientific research or study backs this claim.
Most men need to know that a variety of factors can cause infertility in men. Here are some reasons why men can be infertile –
- Low sperm count – Also known as Oligospermia. In this condition, the sperm count in the semen is lower than normal. Hormonal imbalances, testicular problems, genetic abnormalities, and certain lifestyle conditions can all contribute to this.
- Abnormal Sperm Morphology – Morphology looks at the shape and size of the sperm. So abnormal sperm morphology means abnormal shape and size of the sperm.
- Poor Sperm Motility – Sperm Motility means the ability of the sperm to move or swim effectively. Lack of motility or decreased motility of the sperm will prevent them from reaching the egg, and fertilization cannot happen.
- Hormonal imbalances – Hormonal Imbalances such as insufficient testosterone, LH and FSH can affect sperm production.
- Varicocele – Varicocele is when the veins surrounding the testes are swollen and enlarged, creating a backflow of blood and engorgement of these veins, leading to increased testicular temperature, increase in toxins surrounding the testes, and, therefore, testicular dysfunction, poor sperm production, decrease motility and increase in abnormal sperm morphology.
- Smoking and Diabetes can have a negative effect on testicular function.
- You should note that infertility is a complex issue and can be due to one of the factors mentioned above or even a combination of many other reasons. The best step would be to contact a healthcare professional and have a medical check-up.
Read more: Top 5 Signs of Unhealthy Sperm
Masturbation – Definition and Myths Debunked
Masturbation, in simple terms, would be the act of pleasuring oneself by stimulation such as touching or rubbing one’s genitals. It is an individual activity and is natural and normal. Studies actually advocate masturbation for healthy stimulation and sperm production.
Anything related to sexual activity is often taboo to discuss, so unsurprisingly, so much misinformation exists regarding masturbation. Some people believe that masturbation can cause Azoospermia, as mentioned before. Azoospermia is not caused by masturbation, but rather, when a man is diagnosed with this condition, the semen ejaculated does not contain any sperm. The actual factors that cause Azoospermia are varied and not related to masturbation.
What are the effects of Frequent Masturbation?
By frequent masturbation, here we refer to masturbation that is more often than the normal norm. High levels of masturbation do have some effects on the male body. If you and your partner are trying to start a family, we’ve described one instance below that you should be aware of you –
Low Sperm Count – Ejaculation contains semen, and normally, semen contains millions of sperm. So, frequent masturbation and excessive ejaculation for men who have severe Oligospermia can result in a very low number of sperm, which may not be adequate for natural conception
What are the benefits of Masturbation?
We’ve already delved into detail about what masturbation is and the possible negative effect of decreasing the sperm count in men with very low sperm count in case it is done excessively. We’ve also debunked myths on how it is not directly linked to infertility,
Let’s now touch on how regular and healthy amounts of masturbation can benefit the body –
- Stress relief – Masturbation can be a form of relieving stress and pent-up frustration and can help relax the body.
- Satisfaction – Because masturbation involves only one person, it is perhaps the safest way to pleasure oneself and feel sexual satisfaction.
- Improved Sleep – Masturbation satisfies the body’s needs for sexual gratification, thereby relaxing the body and aiding in better sleep.
- Natural Painkiller – Orgasm is said to be a natural painkiller, and especially in women, it can relieve menstrual cramps.
- Cancer prevention – A study states that masturbation in some men can prevent prostate cancer.
FAQ’s About infertility in men and affect of masturbation on male fertility
Is semen retention good for fertility?
Constant semen retention is not healthy for sperm quality.
Does masturbation cause infertility in men?
No. If a man has a normal sperm count, masturbation does not cause infertility.
Is it okay to masturbate while I am trying to conceive?
Yes, it is okay to masturbate while you are trying to conceive.
Does masturbation affect sperm count?
Only temporarily. A normal healthy male will produce sperm minutes after ejaculation. So, No, masturbation will not significantly affect sperm count.
Should sexual intercourse or masturbation not be performed before semen analysis?
Medical professionals usually advise you to wait for 2 before taking a semen sample for analysis. However, current research suggests that an abstinence period is not required.
Read more: IVF Procedure Step By Step
Read more: What is embryo grading?