Béa FertilityStart Assessment

The female "o"

23 May 2023

Obviously, the male orgasm is an intrinsic part of getting pregnant – whether it's in a vagina or into a collection cup – but what about the female orgasm?

For males, an orgasm has to happen in order to release sperm to create a pregnancy. For females? Not so much. Ovulation occurs monthly, during the menstrual cycle, with or without an orgasm.

Poleaxe Hypothesis

The poleaxe hypothesis came about in the 1960s and – like many other things from that era, avocado-coloured appliances and turning food into jelly – it is massively outdated. The idea was that a female orgasm would exhaust the female, leaving her needing to lie down and allowing the sperm easier access to swim and fertilise the waiting egg. However, we now know that sperm don’t rely on gravity and can swim through the female reproductive system rapidly on their own (and with the help of attraction signals from the egg). A certain amount of semen will come back out of the vagina, whether you’re laying down after sex or getting straight back up again.

Upsuck Theory

This idea was that contractions in the uterus following an orgasm can help “suck up” the semen after ejaculation. Thus, an orgasm would help increase the amount of sperm moving through the female reproductive system and increase the chances of getting pregnant. Current evidence suggests that the female orgasm plays no role in sperm transport.

The Bottom Line

Based on the evidence we have, there isn't a link between having an orgasm and your chances of conceiving.

The Béa Take

Have as many (so as few) orgasms as you want, because they’re fun. Try not to worry about what it’ll do to your chances of getting pregnant. If your desire for an orgasm is too wrapped up in wanting to get pregnant, you may feel pressured making reaching an orgasm more difficult.

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