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I have read this from friends and is mostly around in subcontinent that in order to get healthier babies (with no defects and good health), one should avoid ejaculation for a couple of days before trying for pregnancy.

Is this true?

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    on what basis (what popular claim can you cite) – ratchet freak Feb 18 '12 at 18:06
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    @Believer: I heard the contrary - that masturbation might be evolutionary beneficial because it eliminated the older sperm - but never the other way around. Can you find an instance of someone claiming the claim you're skeptical of? – Borror0 Feb 18 '12 at 21:21
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    This is mainly popular in Indo-Pak (Pakistan India) among common masses which is hard to reference. The general concept is, when you avoid sex, your sperms become more energetic and more healthy, therefore produces more healthy babies. – Believer Feb 18 '12 at 21:52
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    I can only add that when our friends were seeking fertility help, he was told to only have sex every 3 days to allow the sperm to mature, as well as cut out coffee and smoking to have healthier sperm. This was from fertility doctors in Denmark. – Darwy Feb 19 '12 at 9:18
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    By ejaculating less often, your sperm count will be higher, and higher amount of sperm equals higher chance of conceiving. I have no idea if quality of kid improves though. – Wertilq Apr 23 '13 at 11:11
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You mentioned in your comment that the sperm is healthier. If anything, ejaculation prior to sex will get rid of the old sperm and give the newer, healthier sperm more of a chance.

Anyways, the health of a sperm cell really doesn't matter. First thing, all the sperm does is transfer the DNA to the egg, nothing else. DNA doesn't change for a single cell over time. Atleast, not with any significant probability--mutations are possible but rare--if there was a mutation it is far more likely to have come from a faulty meiosis than 'aging' of a sperm.

The only difference that waiting does make is that it increases the chance of conception.

Refs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2054949

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    Welcome to Skeptics, Manishearth! Please read this post for new users. We require answers here to be properly referenced, so please add citations for the claims you are making. – Sam I Am Mar 4 '12 at 15:38
  • @SamIAm yeah, I was told this about another answer of mine as well. I'll get some refs tomorrow or the day after (using a phone atm) – Manishearth Mar 4 '12 at 16:03
  • @SamIAm I found one ref that basically solves the problem, but the paper is behind a paywall. Is that ref enough; or should I ref the other claims? – Manishearth Mar 5 '12 at 1:15
  • That's fine. Free papers are better, but until science is routinely done in the open, we have to live with paywalls. – Oddthinking Apr 23 '13 at 23:56
  • @Oddthinking: Bad timing, I'm no longer behind a paywall :) – Manishearth Apr 24 '13 at 5:35

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