Laughing into pregnancy

A good sex increases your chances of conceiving, say researchers

Published: Sunday 15 November 1998

THERE's a lot more to good sex. Especially if you're really looking forward to having a baby. A recent study by Jacky Boivin of Cardiff University, USA, says good sex raises the chances of conceiving.

Boivin examined the cervical mucus of 71 women, within two to three hours after they had intercourse. Women with unusual mucus were excluded after a screening. Their partners who had an unusual low sperm count were also not included in the study. Boivin then gave questionnaires to the women to describe how much they enjoyed their sexual encounters. After analysing their answers, the women were divided into three categories. Boivin found that nearly half of those in the group, who enjoyed sex the least had virtually no sperm in their cervical mucus. But of those who enjoyed most, 90 per cent had sperm in their mucus.

But Boivin is quick to reassure those who have been having trouble conceiving: "Generations of mothers have never experienced orgasms." But, she says, good sex can sometimes be the difference between success and failure.

Earlier studies, like the one by Robin Baker and Mark Bellis, biologists at the University of Manchester, UK, measured "the flowback" of the seminal fluid ejected by women after intercourse. They concluded that a well-timed orgasm can greatly increase the chance that sperm would be retained in the woman's reproductive track. But this study was criticised as too indirect to say anything definite about fertility.

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