Ask Giz: Does Masturbation Make You Less Fertile?

Ask Giz: Does Masturbation Make You Less Fertile?
Apple emojis. Image: Compiled by Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Welcome back to Ask Giz, the series where Gizmodo Australia answers your burning questions of the weird and wonderful sort.

If you haven’t already, you should submit a question to us! Anything tech, health, science or gaming-related is something we’d love to talk about. You can submit a question here.

This week, our question comes from “P” in New Zealand. They’re curious about masturbation while trying to conceive.

Thank you for the question. I also appreciate your added note of “Trying to make a baby stat!”, which gives this Ask Giz a sense of urgency, so, we’re on the case, P! We’re going to tackle this from a few angles. Starting with whether masturbation makes you less fertile.

Does Masturbation make you less fertile?

The simple answer is: No. This is actually a common myth about masturbation for both males and females, that playing with yourself somehow makes you less fertile. There’s no evidence supporting that masturbation makes you less fertile.

A common myth is that masturbation can affect ovulation, but there’s no evidence to support this. However, as Doctor Bhavatej Enganti puts it:

“If a couple is planning to have a baby, the male partner, needs to restrict his masturbation. This is because masturbation in men leads to ejaculation and if you are planning a baby, you must conserve your sperms to impregnate your partner.”

How long does it take for one to recharge… Ahem, I mean, produce new sperm? About 64 days. That means, effectively, you can rely on having a high sperm count if you wait just over two months (this is called spermatogenesis).

Back to the question generally though, no, apart from having a lower sperm count, masturbation doesn’t have an impact on your fertility.

In fact, according to Healthline, masturbation can actually have benefits, by releasing dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, testosterone and prolactin in your brain. These chemicals can lead to a reduction in stress, however, it’s important to note that (just like many things that make us happy) masturbation, can be addictive. That’s a whole other question for a whole other time.

Now, I hear you sex-minded Gizmodo readers asking “What about erectile dysfunction, does masturbation cause that?”

Nope! Medical News Today is quite direct with this myth. Erectile Dysfunction is often caused by other things, like age and diabetes. In younger people, it can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other medical issues.

Do what you do

That’s… Kind of it! If you’re concerned about masturbation affecting your fertility, don’t be, as there’s no evidence supporting this. The only thing worth noting is making sure you have enough sperm to, er, go around, if you’re trying to conceive.

Happy fapping.

Ask Giz is a fortnightly series where we answer your questions, be it tech, science, gadget, health or gaming related. This is a reader-involved series where we rely on Gizmodo Australia’s audience to submit questions. If you have a question for Giz, you can submit it here. Or check out the answer to our last Ask Giz: Why Can’t I Get Reception in an Elevator?