Erm, I though we knew this?

While male orgasms have a link to fertility, until now, female orgasms were considered to occur simply for pleasure.
But new research suggests female orgasms could play a key role in fertility.
The study suggests reaching climax could increase a woman’s chance of conceiving by as much as 15 per cent.

I wouldn’t say that, being childless myself, I’ve ever proven this but it’s certainly one of those bits of “knowledge” that’s been floating around the brain for years. And when I read stories of those super sperm donors one of other of the women involved always seems to mention this as at least a folk belief.

This isn’t to say that humans operate like cats, where it’s the shagging itself which causes the ovulation, but the idea that sex with someone liked enough to be enjoyable increases fertility doesn’t seem outrageous, dos it? It would also neatly explain the lower pregnancy rate from rape which is so often mooted (no, I don’t know whether that is true and aren’t particularly interested in whether it is).

20 thoughts on “Erm, I though we knew this?”

  1. It would be interesting, and extremely easy, to test. Women have to have carefully controlled sex with men they like and men they don’t like and see if they get pregnant. As is usually quipped when something like this comes up, I’m happy to put myself forward for testing and make the sacrifice in the name of science, in the “don’t like” category.

  2. The medieval view was that female orgasms caused pregnancy, rather than the injection of manfat.

    Which was suboptimal when proving rape by means of a pregnancy – cos if she got pregnant she must have orgasmed, and if she orgasmed then it couldn’t have been rape cos she’d enjoyed it.

  3. “being childless myself”

    That’s a pity Tim, it would be nice to have some young Tims to replace you. It’s never too late…

  4. I read somewhere that the orgasmic contractions (spasms?) helps with moving the sperm upwards and inwards so the little buggers wont have to swim that far on their own.

  5. It is indeed an old wives tale of long standing that you can’t get pregnant if you don’t cum, usually observed in the breach, as it were, “I don’t understand it doctor, it’s not as if I ever enjoyed it.”

  6. Henning: “I read somewhere that the orgasmic contractions (spasms?) helps with moving the sperm upwards and inwards so the little buggers wont have to swim that far on their own.”

    How ungentlemanly. A true gent ensures that his ladyfriend reaches her critical moment before setting himself to the important task of whitewashing the passageway.

  7. Yes, The Mail are wrong, but no, it’s not just folk knowledge. This was established scientifically in the early to mid Nineties using internal cameras. The female orgasm causes the opening of the uterus to repeatedly dip downwards into the pool of semen. The research was considered so interesting and the footage so revolutionary that they made a series of prime-time documentaries about it that got millions of viewers. Yet everyone seems to have forgotten all about it.

    One of the other amazing findings was the way sperm change their behaviour depending on relationship status. The sperm of a philanderer go straight for the ovum, whilst the sperm of the long-term mate link their tails to create barriers to stop the former. Amazing stuff.

  8. “The study suggests reaching climax could increase a woman’s chance of conceiving by as much as 15 per cent.”

    No wonder I haven’t got any kids.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    It would also neatly explain the lower pregnancy rate from rape which is so often mooted (no, I don’t know whether that is true and aren’t particularly interested in whether it is).

    Well, at the risk of telling someone something he does not want to know …. the pregnancy rate from rape is at least as high, and may be higher, than for normal sexual intercourse.

    One of the possible explanations is that the orgasm rate is reportedly higher too. Or maybe rapists pick women who are more fertile.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in france – “Does the female of any other species have orgasms? Asking for a pet.”

    If I remember Donald Symon’s outstanding The Evolution of Human Sexuality researchers have proven that other female mammals have the capacity for orgasm. Sheep for instance. It is just not commonly used.

    Those were, by the sounds of it, some very dedicated researchers. I hope they used protection.

  11. @Squander Two,

    The academic who showed all that stuff got fired from my Alma Mater. I think it was technically for inadequate consenting of participants (largely entirely willing undergraduates of opposite sex) in his studies, than the results themselves.

  12. ‘The study suggests…’

    So no evidence, just speculation.

    Fertilisation in most cases takes place in the fallopian tubes and it can take several days for the fertilised egg to reach the uterus.

    Fertilisation depends in tge first instance on whether an ovum is present in the fallipian tubes, and pregnancy depends on the condition of the uterine wall.

    Given the above it is not evident what part having an orgasm/or not can play in the process.

    More pseudo-science.

    Why do people keep falling for this junk? Has the Y2K, New Ice Age, runaway global warming, overpopulation nonsense taught nobody anything?

    Answering my own question: no.

  13. @JohnB,

    The difference a female orgasm makes is, however, a few millimetres in the cervix, paradoxically not known for being a hospitable environment for sperm.

    It’s quite plausible that comes to a barely-measurable difference.

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