More sex boosts men's fertility
Eating certain things and holding off on sex before trying to conceive are just two of the tips often recommended to men who are struggling with fertility issues. However, new research suggests that having sex twice in an hour could be the key to tripling a man's chance of becoming a dad.
A study conducted by North Middlesex Hospital in London looked at 73 couples who were undergoing the fertility treatment intrauterine insemination (IUI), which sees sperm put directly into the womb. The 'sub-fertile' men produced two sperm samples within 60 minutes, and when the second sample was used in the treatment it saw a pregnancy rate of 20 per cent. This was over three times more than the expected success rate of six per cent for this particular method.
Equally amazingly, 15 of the females conceived immediately, while 10 per cent fell pregnant after the second attempt during their fertile period around a month later. This has led to experts shunning the idea of men 'saving up' their sperm when planning to have a baby.
The study was part of on-going project comparing the pregnancy rates of IUI with in vitro fertilisation (IVT), a technique involving women producing multiple eggs which are injected with a sperm in a lab. It's thought the impressive results of IUI - which at 20 per cent is only four per cent less than IVF results - could encourage couples to seek alternative treatments rather than only trying IVF.
The new findings also suggest that more sex helps boost sperm count rather than draining it, as the fresher the sample the more fertile it is. Research leader Gulam Bahadur, of North Middlesex Hospital, noted: "Though this is a relatively small study, we believe it is a big step forward and could make a major difference to pregnancy rates. It would be reasonable to assume the same effect would apply to men trying to conceive naturally."
"There is a great deal of misinformation out there," Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, a specialist in human reproductive science at the University of Birmingham, added. "People still think that if you want to have a baby, you should save up sperm when, in fact, not having sex is very bad for men because it affects sperm quality. The fresher the sperm, the better its condition."