Calling all women: does having an orgasm increase your chances of getting pregnant?
The function of a male orgasm is pretty clear cut. When men orgasm, they ejaculate, and the powerful muscle contractions that they experience power their ejaculate into the female reproductive tract. Fingers crossed, fertilization occurs… and tadah, new life is born!
When it comes to female orgasms, though, the jury is still out on what these are meant to achieve. Obviously these provide pleasure for women, but they aren’t required for pregnancy, and tons of couples conceive just fine without them. So does having orgasms increase women’s chances of getting pregnant, or does it simply provide extra feel-good vibes? Read on to find out more!
Those who believe that female orgasms do increase your chances of getting pregnant will often trot out the “upsuck” theory, which was coined back in the 1900s. According to this theory, a woman’s uterine muscles acts like a vacuum when she climaxes. These muscles suck up her partner’s sperm, propel them through the cervix and uterus, and help them reach the fallopian tube faster. (It’s here where fertilization occurs).
It sounds like a plausible theory, but many studies which attempt to validate this theory end up generating inconclusive results. The one study that seems to support this theory was published in the Animal Behaviour journal back in 1993; this study found that when a woman orgasms a minute before or up to 45 minutes after her partner ejaculates, this results in more sperm retention.
Since then, there have been several – newer – studies that refute the “upsuck” theory. For example, this 2011 study concluded that the female orgasm has “little or no effective role in the transport of spermatozoa in natural human coitus.” Yet another study published in 2013 showed that by controlling for a relationship’s length and how often sex occurred, you could effectively eliminate all correlation between orgasm rate and the number of children that a couple would have.
All in all: we don’t have any conclusive evidence to prove that the female orgasm does increase a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, and several studies seem to point to the contrary. Here’s our take: continue charting your Basal Body Temperature and having sex with your partner on days when you’re fertile, and let nature take care of the rest. If you do orgasm, then take that as a bonus, but if you don’t, there’s no need to get too worked up over it. (Remember: the more stressed you are, the higher the cortisol levels in your body, and cortisol is counter-productive to fertility!)
Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka
If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!