I've seen a variety of answers to this question in articles and magazines - can orgasm (for the woman) improve your chances of getting pregnant? We know the man must have an orgasm (unless high-tech fertility treatments are being used to extract sperm from the testes), but what about for women? Does orgasm help?
I watched a fascinating lecture on the topic of orgasm at TED.com. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and in short, it's a forum for people with great ideas to share their research and inventions. (Be warned, their website of videos can become addictive!) The video lecture was by author Mary Roach, entitled "10 Things You Didn't Know About Orgasm". One of the ten things she talked about was the relationship between orgasm and fertility.
She says that in the early 1900s, doctors routinely prescribed female orgasm to help couples with fertility problems. The theory was that orgasm helped the semen get "sucked up" from the cervix into the uterus. They called this "up suck".
In the 1950s, researchers Masters and Johnson wondered if "up suck" was real, and decided to conduct an experiment. They made artificial semen, mixed with radiographic dye, and placed it inside a cervical cap inside the woman. Then, they had the woman self-pleasure herself to orgasm in the lab. They then took x-rays, to see if the artificial semen had been sucked up.
The fake semen did not get sucked up, and so Masters and Johnson declared that the "up suck" theory was untrue.
This isn't to say that enjoyment of sex may not improve fertility in other ways. But at least as far as "up suck" theory, female orgasm does not seem to be a must-have ingredient for getting pregnant.
However, after doing more research on this topic, I discovered that some researchers feel the "upsuck" theory does happen. They used a different method to research it. Read more about the research on female orgasm and getting pregnant here.
Personally, hearing about this research made me feel so much better. As if we didn't have enough pressure in our lives when dealing with infertility, the last thing we need is pressure to orgasm.
I know some experts will say, "Yes, but enjoyment of sex is still a healthy ingredient in trying to get pregnant." To them I say, yes... but one thing that will kill enjoyment right away for a woman is a feeling that you "must" have an orgasm. Then, it begins to feel more like homework. (Yes, I know for the guys, this is still a problem. I feel for you!)
More about sex and trying to get pregnant:
- Complete Guide to Baby Making Sex
- Is Female Orgasm Important for Getting Pregnant?
- When Can You Get Pregnant?
- How Often Should You Have Sex to Get Pregnant?
- Timing Sex for Pregnancy on Clomid
- How to Improve Your Sex Life When TTC
What are your thoughts on this research? Please share in the comments below!