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anonymous on August 30, 2011

How long does it take for sperm to redevelop after ejaculation?

My wife and I are trying to conceive. Is it true that we should wait 48 hours between the times we have sex so my sperm can redevelop? The thing is, I ended up ejaculating in my sleep and then had sex with my wife about six hours later because it was one of the key days for getting pregnant. Do you think my sperm will be too weak or undeveloped to get her pregnant because I ejaculated too recently? Thanks for your help.

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on August 30, 2011

 

Thanks for your great question. For couples trying to conceive, there are a lot of unknowns. One of them is when to have sex to increase your chances of conceiving. Your regular doctor or obstetrician can help you learn more about this subject and coach you for the “best times” to conceive. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts for your consideration...

Thanks for your great question. For couples trying to conceive, there are a lot of unknowns. One of them is when to have sex to increase your chances of conceiving. Your regular doctor or obstetrician can help you learn more about this subject and coach you for the “best times” to conceive. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts for your consideration...

According to research, you’re right...the amount of sperm in men’s semen increases if you wait a few days between ejaculations. In fact, according to one study published in 2005, researchers from the Women and Infants' Hospital in Providence, RI, found that sperm count increases when you don’t ejaculate for several days...but they also found that a high sperm count alone doesn’t necessarily improve the likelihood of conception. Why?

The longer you wait between ejaculations, the motility or the ability of the sperm to swim and meet the egg actually decreases.And sperm motility is one of the most important aspects for conception. According to the study, couples that had the best luck getting pregnant had sex at least every 2-3 days during the woman’s fertile period (the five or six days before the woman ovulates).

So, what does this mean for you? You and your wife had sex shortly after you ejaculated on your own. If the way your body works is similar to the men in the research study, when you had sex with your wife, your sperm count may have been slightly lower...but the sperm that you did ejaculate when you had sex were likely better “swimmers.”

More research conducted by the Soroka University Medical Center in Israel found that peak sperm motility occurs after one day of abstinence. The research also suggests that, to keep your sperm swimming strongly, it may be a good idea to have sex or masturbate to ejaculation at least every two days.

That said, these research findings are relatively recent...and if you and your wife are having difficulty conceiving, I would encourage you again to see your doctors for further discussion and evaluation.

As well, women who are planning to conceive can help reduce the risk of birth defects and other complications by speaking with their doctors about nutrition, weight and lifestyle before getting pregnant. And, once your wife does become pregnant, an obstetrician can help monitor her health and the baby’s health throughout the pregnancy.

I wish you and your wife the best of luck in your journey to conceive.

Related info:

 

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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