Long-term abstinence does not improve sperm quality; instead, it can lead to a decline in sperm quality. Sperm, a vital component for fertility, constitutes only a small portion of semen. Sperm production is a complex process that involves various stages, from the testes to the epididymis. Prolonged abstinence can negatively affect the function of sperm-producing cells, leading to a regression in their physiological activity and ultimately poor sperm quality.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine advises against prolonged abstinence as it reduces sperm quality. The study found that sperm quality is at its peak on the fifth day after ejaculation, after which it gradually declines. After six days of abstinence, the number of active sperm decreases significantly, while the proportion of defective sperm increases.

Apart from the impact on sperm quality, long-term abstinence can have several other consequences:

1. Decreased Sexuality: Suppressing one's sexual desires for an extended period can lead to a decrease in sexual desire and interest in sexual activities.

2. Induction of Prostate Disease: Prolonged abstinence can cause pelvic congestion, leading to abnormal prostate fluid secretion and an increased risk of prostatitis.

3. Sexual Hypofunction: The principle of "use it or lose it" applies to male sexual function. Long-term abstinence can increase the risk of issues like premature ejaculation, erectile weakness, and even impotence.

On the contrary, engaging in sexual activity under appropriate circumstances can offer several health benefits, including cardiovascular health, physical exercise, immunity improvement, and stress relief.

To improve sperm quality, consider the following:

1. Regular Exercise: Maintain a healthy weight within the standard range, as excessive obesity can disrupt sperm growth due to increased groin temperature. However, avoid intensive exercises like marathons and long-distance cycling, as these can raise testicle temperature.

2. Avoid Sauna and Steam Baths: High-temperature sauna and steam baths can directly harm sperm and inhibit sperm production.

3. Quit Smoking and Alcohol: Smoking and alcohol consumption can negatively impact sperm count, deformity rate, vitality, and sexual function. It is advisable to quit these habits.

4. Manage Stress: Excessive mental stress can harm sperm growth. Engage in relaxation activities like walking and bathing, and prioritize a stress-free environment for sexual activity.

5. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Consume green vegetables, nuts, and fish to provide essential nutrients for sperm growth. These foods contain vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Seek Medical Treatment: If semen analysis reveals poor sperm quality, consult a medical professional for an accurate assessment and targeted treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine or Western medicine approaches may be recommended, depending on the diagnosis.

For instance, traditional Chinese medicine, like the Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill, can promote sperm growth through various therapies, while Western medicine may suggest antioxidant supplements. Promptly seeking medical guidance can help address issues related to sperm quality.

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