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Effect of masturbation on fertility

 Reproductive Health with Mrs Bobo Kayode

It has become necessary for me to touch on the subject of masturbation in response to several enquiries and probing questions I have received from our numerous readers. Masturbation is the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals (self masturbation), often to the point of orgasm. Masturbation also entails mutual stimulation usually with the hand or both hands by oneself or sometimes with a partner. Sometimes indulging in the act could get out of control and the person may indulge in excessive self-absorbed or self-indulgent masturbation. The end result of masturbation is no different from normal intercourse in that an orgasm occurs whether it is as a result of self stimulation or mutual stimulation with a partner.
Depending on your particular situation, masturbation does not lead to infertility. Neither does it have a long-term injurious effect on the testes or a woman's reproductive organs. It also has no effect on your health as most people think. However, each individual must assess the reason they are masturbating, and unless it is for medical reasons entailing the need to produce a semen sample for processing to treat infertility, it is simply an avenue through which people release sexual tension.

Nonetheless, people who masturbate excessively may face the risk of making it habit, which can be psychological and would require them visiting and confiding in a counselor or specialist. When fertility is a concern, efforts should be made to curb masturbation around the time of the wife's fertile period (when she is ovulating), as this can lead to a decrease in sperm reserves in an individual with a low or low to normal sperm count, thus reducing semen quality at the time that the highest quality is needed.

What this means is that when a couple is trying to get pregnant the male partner may need to limit masturbation and conserve the sperm stored for the fertilization of the egg.

In Males
Every time a man masturbates to completion, he has an orgasm leading to ejaculation. This could lower the sperm count available to fertilize the egg. The male body needs to produce more sperm in order to refill the sperm reservoir, and this takes time for a man who indulges in frequent daily masturbation.

As such, the store will consistently be lower than a man that does not masturbate as frequently. So for a couple trying to get pregnant, it is advisable to shore up the sperm reserve for proper use during intercourse, because when the man allows the sperms to build up in the semen this can result in increased fertility.

In Females
Female masturbation also plays a role in a couple trying out for a child, because when a female orgasm takes place, the cervix dips down to touch the end of the vagina and this increases fertility. However, if the female reaches orgasm during intercourse before the male, the acid in the vagina may enter the cervix and decrease the amount of sperm remaining viable for the fertilization of the egg.

Increasing the Sperm Count
To maintain a high sperm count, the male should endeavour to wear loose under garments, refrain from over indulging in alcohol and quit smoking. This is important because the higher the sperm count, the higher the chances that one sperm will make it to the egg to fertilise it before it absorbs into the lining of the uterus.

There are many methods available in clinics to ascertain the sperm count in each ejaculate. There are also various ways of increasing the amount of sperm and mobility, and some natural ways are most effective. The most important of these include eating a healthy diet.

Maintaining a healthy diet and taking daily vitamin and mineral supplements can help increase the overall health of the body and thus the sperm. Recent studies have also shown that zinc supplement with folic acid can increase the quality of sperm produced; this is in line with the beneficial effect of folic acid on the foetus.

Besides, with the increasing cost of fertility treatment this has given rise to the need to seek alternative ways,

which include maintaining a healthy natural diet to increase sperm quality and quantity. As such, masturbating less often and eating a healthy diet rich in Zinc and folic acid are great steps towards achieving parenthood without external intervention.

The act of masturbation can be viewed from various angles and individual cases are considered as to whether it is beneficial to you or not. For instance, a young or growing adult is inquisitive and exploratory about many things in life, and this includes their bodies. This is one of the main reasons why most young people, especially teenagers and those in their twenties, engage in this act to derive sexual pleasure.

Whether it is beneficial to you or not, outside the discussion above, depends entirely on you. When you begin to get worried that it is becoming an obsession, it is a pointer to the fact that you have reached a point where you know that it is not normal and you may need help.

Also contrary to old wives tales, masturbation does not cause blindness, insanity, hairy palms, hair loss, acne or cancer of any kind. In addition, some studies have actually shown that it greatly reduces a man's chances of developing prostate cancer.

Nonetheless, excessive masturbation can lead to physical exhaustion. So if you find yourself growing obsessed with masturbation to a point where it is interfering with work or personal relationships, it is time to cut back and speak to a professional to identify the underlying issues that may be causing the habit.

Religious Views
Some religions deem sexuality between a couple as a gift from God that finds fulfillment in marital relationships, and the misuse of sex as a sin. Therefore, because the act of masturbation entails self-stimulation, and by its nature is incapable of expressing love for another person, it is viewed as a distortion of the purpose of sex and therefore is a desire of the flesh.

This is more so when it becomes an addiction since the practice of self pleasure is not viewed as honouring God's gift of sexuality. Religious leaders therefore admonish that instead of succumbing to the desires of the flesh, they should turn to the Holy Spirit to manifest his fruit.

Others, on the other hand, view masturbation as a way of releasing tension which in turn serves as a guard against adultery, pre-marital sex, etc, and a way of balancing differing libidos between spouses.

In conclusion, masturbation has arguments for and against it, depending on what the purpose is. But it is important to note that once there is a desire to stop or reduce this act, the mind must be made up to do so. Where it is excessive, speak to an elderly or mature confidant for encouragement and also seek professional help in a counselor as required.

•Mrs. Bobo Kayode:
+234 8039359059

Onanism: or, a treatise upon the disorders produced by masturbation: or, the dangerous effects of secret and excessive venery By M Tissot, MD Fellow of ... of the Medico-Physical Society of Basle

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