Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taking sex into your own hands

For our Problem-Based Learning exercise last week, we were required to research information on infertility. Infertility (the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected intercourse) is a problem that affects a whopping 15% of North American couples.

The most common investigation of the male side of infertility is a semen analysis, which tests male ejaculate for sperm count (number), morphology (shape), and motility (movement). This is usually collected in lab via masturbation, but the more shy may opt to collect their semen in a condom following frank intercourse (the disadvantage being that sperm is very temperature sensitive and needs to be shuttled over to the lab immediately or parameters may not be accurately measured). But how accurate is this method of data collection to begin with?

For my part of the discussion I contributed an article titled "Endocrinological, biophysical, and biochemical parameters of semen collected via masturbation versus sexual intercourse" published in the Journal of Andrology (1993). It found that:

the volume of seminal plasma, total sperm count, sperm motility, and percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa were significantly higher in samples collected at intercourse than masturbation, as reported previously. In addition, the markers of the secretory function of the prostate and the outcome of sperm function tests (hypoosmotic swelling test, acrosin assay, and sperm penetration assay) were significantly higher for the samples collected at intercourse.

The moral of the story? Your body knows what you're doing to it.

While you might think it's the same, those boys may not want to come out if you take sex into your own hands...

5 comments:

sandlot said...

haaha. loved the last line. very witty. i hope you mentioned that in your discussion.

Teddy *blushing* said...

It will be sad if sperm volume, count, motility,etc are increased in masturbation over intercourse... i mean, having more stimulation from masturbation.... the guy gotta be pretty narcissistic...

Michael said...

Not only does your body know when you're actually having sex, it also knows who you're having sex with and when.

There is pretty cool research out there showing that if your partner goes away for a while, the next time you meet up for sex you'll ejaculate more sperm than usual (evolutionary measure in case she slept around while she was away).

Similarly, if you are in a long-term relationship and you find a new girl, you'll ejaculate more into the new girl. On some subconscious level, you are maximizing your chances for reproduction.

Teddy *blushing more* said...

randomized controlled trials or retrospective studies? haha

Joyce said...

LOL!!!

Gotta love evolution. Don't you miss Chippendale? :'D