Can Excessive Masturbation Cause Infertility
- Published on January 10, 2023
Masturbation is typically a healthy experience that allows people to:
- Relieve stress
- Reduce sexual tension
- Regulate hormones
- Reduce menstrual cramps and/or labour cramps
- Strengthen pelvic and anal muscles
- Experience self-love
However, these benefits come only when masturbation is done in moderation. Excessive masturbation can actually be problematic for people of all genders.
One of the uncommon side effects of excessive masturbation is infertility. In this article, we explore the disadvantages of excessive masturbation and how it can sometimes prevent couples from conceiving.
When does masturbation become excessive?
The process of masturbation can be very addictive for some people because of how it affects brain chemistry.
During masturbation, the brain releases chemicals like dopamine and endorphins. These are “feel-good chemicals” responsible for stress relief and other benefits that masturbation typically offers.
However, when the brain starts to become addicted to these feel-good chemicals, it can stimulate an individual to repeat the task, which facilitates the release of these chemicals.
Masturbation can become excessive if it starts to impede the person’s day-to-day life. If an individual spends a large part of the day masturbating or spends the hours they aren’t masturbating thinking of masturbation, then it is a cause for concern.
Excessive masturbation affects a person’s social behaviour, their ability to pursue their education or hold down a job, their ability to be in healthy relationships and in some cases, their ability to have a baby.
Main disadvantages of excessive masturbation
Too much masturbation can lead to the following problems:
- Overstimulation of the brain.
- Excessive dependence on endorphin and dopamine release to function.
- Tenderness and oedema of the genital region.
- Reduced genital sensitivity.
- Guilt and shame.
- Lowered self-esteem.
- Reduction in concentration and focus.
- Lowered interest in pursuing other hobbies.
In some instances, excessive masturbation may also lead to:
- Porn addiction.
- Poor interpersonal relations.
- Anti-social behaviour.
Can masturbation cause infertility?
Masturbation as a process isn’t the cause of infertility. However, it may sometimes create certain physiological and psychological conditions, which in turn impact a person’s ability to conceive.
Masturbation and infertility in men
There is no research to indicate that masturbation reduces a man’s fertility. As with sexual intercourse, masturbating a few times a week for a few minutes can ensure the body gets rid of old sperm, and fresh sperm is regularly produced.
In fact, some studies show that regular masturbation can improve both the quantity and quality of a man’s sperm. Sperm concentration and motility also remain healthy and promising after male masturbation.
So, when does male masturbation become a problem?
Typically, men produce their best quality sperm during periods when they haven’t ejaculated in the past 2-3 days. If conception is the goal, men are recommended not to masturbate for a few days before sexual intercourse.
In the case of artificial insemination treatments, it is best not to ejaculate a few days before submitting the semen to the lab.
If men do masturbate right before sexual intercourse or IVF, then it can reduce the number of optimal-quality sperm they have. This may, in turn, affect their ability to conceive.
Male masturbation can become a serious threat to fertility when the man masturbates multiple times a day, multiple days a week. For example, masturbating more than 3 times for 4 days a week can reduce the quantity of healthy and young sperm.
Typically, the male body produces around 1500 sperm each second. However, the body also releases around 300 million sperm during each ejaculation. Excessive masturbation in men can make the rate of sperm depletion overtake the rate of sperm production.
Another physical aspect affecting male fertility is the use of poor-quality sex toys. Some toys are made using low-grade materials and may contain harmful chemicals which can affect the man’s sperm count and quality.
Some sex toys contain phthalates, which cause severe hormonal imbalances and may even lead to cancer. Ultimately, these disadvantages of excessive masturbation restrict the chances of conceiving a baby.
Another less-discussed aspect of male masturbation relates to psychology. Sometimes, excessive masturbation may happen due to feelings of inadequacy, fear of the other gender, absence of emotional fulfilment during sex etc.
Spending too much time alone masturbating can impact the emotional and psychological aspects of a couple’s relationship. The man may not experience sufficient arousal during sexual intercourse with his partner, which may affect his ability to ejaculate inside his partner and thereby prevent conception.
Masturbation and infertility in women
Female masturbation does not have any negative impact on a woman’s fertility. In fact, studies show that masturbation is in no way connected to ovulation.
Unlike with men, an orgasm isn’t necessary for women to start the conception process. Similarly, during orgasm, a woman doesn’t ejaculate the egg out of her body. Each activity takes place independently of the other.
Women’s bodies produce an egg each month, where the egg moves from the ovaries to the fallopian tube to await fertilization. If the egg receives sperm within 12-24 hours after ovulation, the woman has a high chance of a successful pregnancy.
If there is no fertilization within this period, the egg descends into the uterus lining, which is shed each month during menstruation. So, women can masturbate without worrying about becoming infertile.
In fact, women who masturbate regularly have lower stress and better mood, which ultimately aids in successful conception.
How to recover from excessive masturbation?
Although excessive masturbation does not cause infertility in men and women, it does have its challenges. Knowing how to recover from excessive masturbation can help individuals have a happier and more fulfilling life.
Here are some ways in which to reduce excessive masturbation:
- Avoid watching pornography.
- Find other tasks or hobbies to replace the time spent masturbating.
- Exercise and burn off stress.
- Schedule social time with friends and loved ones.
- Enrol for cognitive behaviour therapy.
- Speak to a counsellor or join a support group.
- Schedule sexual intercourse with a partner in advance and stick to the plan.
At Birla Fertility & IVF, our experts have worked with thousands of patients with fertility issues and have helped them successfully conceive. We can study your medical history and recommend the best treatments suitable for you.
Our state-of-the-art IVF facility operates at world-class standards, and our fertility doctors are reputed for their empathy and professionalism.
We can answer any questions you may have about masturbation, sexual intercourse, conception and pregnancy. We are here to help you start life’s most incredible journey of parenthood in a safe and stress-free way. Visit your nearest BFI Centre or book an appointment with Dr__.
Does masturbation cause hair fall?
No, it does not. When done in moderation, masturbation is a healthy experience. It does not affect hair or cause hair loss. If hair fall occurs during or after masturbation, it could be indicative of another underlying problem.
Does masturbation cause weight loss?
Masturbation does not make a person lose weight. However, the stress-relief and anxiety-relief side effects of masturbation make it less likely for people to resort to other coping mechanisms, such as stress eating.
So, people may not put on more weight because they feel more relaxed after masturbation. However, ultimately it depends on each person’s genetics and weight loss/gain history.
Dr Divya Shandilya
Fertility TreatmentsProblems with fertility are both emotionally and medically challenging. At Birla Fertility & IVF, we focus on providing you with supportive, personalized care at every step of your journey towards becoming a parent.
Male InfertilityMale factor infertility accounts for almost 40%-50% of all infertility cases. Decreased sperm function can be the result of genetic, lifestyle, medical or environmental factors. Fortunately, most causes of male factor infertility can be easily diagnosed and treated.
We offer a comprehensive range of sperm retrieval procedures and treatments for couples with male factor infertility or sexual dysfunction.