Friday, June 10, 2005

Intercourse Frequency -- Why more might be better

[I hadn't posted this info before and I want to get it out there. I know its not entirely topical at the moment but I hope you don't mind the diversion]

Since we have a bit of a sperm morphology issue we first tried the every other day routine recommended for MFI. But after having no success and then playing around with the numbers it seemed to us that loading up the EWCF with sperm prior to ovulation would help get more swimmers in there and ready to catch the egg. We've used this strategy both times we have gotten pregnant.

I looked up more research and articles related to ejaculatory frequency and I found some interesting things that I thought I would share:

"The characteristics were examined of 87 consecutive semen samples obtained from participants of an intra-uterine insemination (IUI) programme. The population investigated comprised 65 normozoospermic, 13 moderately oligozoospermic and nine severely oligozoospermic individuals. The samples were produced after 4 days abstinence for the first IUI and after a further day of abstinence for the second IUI. Semen volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count and total motile sperm count for the whole population decreased significantly between the first and second samples. [b]The characteristics of the second sample were significantly decreased only for the normozoospermic group.[/b]"
The effect of ejaculatory frequency on semen characteristics of normozoospermic and oligozoospermic men from an infertile population.
Matilsky M, Battino S, Ben-Ami M, Geslevich Y, Eyali V, Shalev E.
[Note: Normozoospermic is normal counts, oligozoospermic is low counts. The numbers seems to jump down more if you have normal counts -- the higher you are the harder you fall.]

"there was a significant positive relationship between the time taken to produce a specimen and sperm concentration. We conclude that the duration of preejaculatory sexual arousal is an important predictor of ejaculate quality for specimens produced by masturbation and that variation in the duration of preejaculatory arousal may contribute to within-male fluctuations in semen parameters over time."
Duration of sexual arousal predicts semen parameters for masturbatory ejaculates.
Pound N, Javed MH, Ruberto C, Shaikh MA, Del Valle AP.
[Note: we should be doing our best to get our guy intersted evidently if we want his best "effort"]

"Sperm numbers and semen volume increased with duration of abstinence. Abstinence did not influence pH, viability, morphology, total or grade A motility, or sperm DNA fragmentation. A short (24-hour) abstinence period negatively influenced chromatin quality."
Influence of the abstinence period on human sperm quality.
De Jonge C, LaFromboise M, Bosmans E, Ombelet W, Cox A, Nijs M.
[Note: Chromatin is what they are testing for in the SCSA test]

"The results have demonstrated that the motility and normal morphology of spermatozoa do not change significantly with ejaculation frequency. Also, while the volume of the ejaculate and the total number of spermatozoa decreased during a period of frequent coitus, an individual's depletion and recovery of his spermatozoal reserve could not be accurately predicted. It is suggested that coital frequency during the woman's periovulatory period could be modified by the partner's response to this test. Furthermore, while it is acknowledged that the variation in results from a 'routine' semen analysis is large, data obtained after depletion of the extra-gonadal reserve and recovery over a set time may have more value and could be the method of choice for the future."
Studies of human seminal parameters with frequent ejaculation. I. Clinical characteristics.
Matilsky M, Battino S, Ben-Ami M, Geslevich Y, Eyali V, Shalev E.

It just seems to me that the every other day BD routine might not be right for all MFI folks and that it is worth it to try upping frequency to see if it helps improve things for you. Since morphology and motility don't really necessarily seem to be affected it might be better to try out some sexy lingerie and a strip tease and learn some tantric breathing techiques to slow him down a little.

It's worth a thought.

Here's a chart showing why this might work:



I took two different hypothetical total counts and then reduced subsequent by 30%, just a random level that I pulled out of the air. Obviously real life generation rates could be better or worse than that, but note that based on this model having more sex results in a greater number of total sperm deposited.

Two other gals that I know online who were TTC post vasectomy reversal both tried this strategy and it worked for them the first try as well.

Some other random bits of info:


  • The best sperm can live in a test tube at room temperature for a week
  • it takes about 20 sperm to help weaken the zona pellucida enough to have one be able to penetrate the egg to fertiize it
  • on the day of ovulation your body has already produced some progesterone which helps ripen the follicle. This progesterone can change the quality of your CF so that it is less hospitible to sperm so timing BD on the day of your peak day (the gooey EW day) or prior is probably the best.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Agness - I wondered about all that myself when DH and I were trying to DTD every day (in the early days of TTC). The only time we did concieve was when we BD every three days - which made me wonder if he had issues (and 3 mos after the m/c it was confirmed that he had SEVERE oogliosperma). Maybe after this AF is complete, we'll try the every day method - surely he won't be opposed to it! He's been lucky to get 3x a month of late! Anyway, thanks for the information (even though this is archived a bit).