Coital frequency and infertility: which male factors predict less frequent coitus among infertile couples?

The coital frequency of infertile couples was studied. Median monthly coitus was 7 and the lowest quartile was <5. Older age and erectile dysfunction were independent predictors of less frequent coitus in this population. Authors


Nathan Perlis, M.D., Kirk C. Lo, M.D., Ethan D. Grober, M.D., Leia Spencer, R.N., Keith Jarvi, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 2, Pages 511-515, August 2013



To determine the coital frequency among infertile couples and which factors are associated with less frequent coitus.


Cross-sectional study.


Tertiary-level male infertility clinic.


A total of 1,298 infertile men.


Administration of computer-based survey, semen analysis, and serum hormone evaluation.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Monthly coital frequency.


A total of 1,298 patients presented to clinic for infertility consultation and completed the computer-based survey. The median male age was 35 years (interquartile range [IQR] 32–39 years) and the median duration of infertility was 2 years (IQR 1–4 years) before consultation. Median monthly coital frequency was seven (IQR 5–10; range 0–40); 24% of couples were having intercourse ≤4 times per month. Overall, 0.6%, 2.7%, 4.8%, 5.8%, and 10.8% of the men reported having intercourse 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 times per month, respectively. When simultaneously taking into account the influence of age, libido, erectile function, and semen volume on coital frequency, older patients had 1.05 times higher odds (per year of age) of less frequent coitus (odds ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.03–1.08). In addition, patients with better erectile function had 1.12 times higher odds (per point on Sexual Health Inventory for Men scale) of more frequent coitus (odds ratio 1.12, 95% confidence interval 1.09–1.18).


Similar to the general population, most infertile couples report having coitus more than four times per month. Older male age and erectile dysfunction are independent risk factors for less frequent coitus among infertile men, which could have an impact on fertility. Coital frequency should be considered in infertility assessments.

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