Keeping sex sexy has been my life work, since I started teaching about it in the 90’s before my medical training. Some topics deserve extra special attention. Sex during Fertility Therapy is one topic I would like to make a lot hotter than it has become for some people! Those seeking fertility treatment are sometimes so focused on creating life from the love they have that they simply cannot make love for the life of them! This is, in part because, as I’ve said over and again, the brain is our biggest sex organ. Seismic activity in the matters of the mind is what we most need for fantastic sexual outcomes—pun intended. Getting focused on scheduling, timing and repetitive sperm insertion can be one of the least sexy endeavors for a single person or a couple trying to make people!! The stress, fear, guilt, shame, anxiety surrounding infertility is not helping the brain get the proper hormones and juices flowing.
We need to somehow shift away from the stress intensity cycle of making sex into a timed obligation, and get it back into the rip-roaring orgasmic experience that we were actually built to have, in order to keep the species going. In other words: how do we keep sex fun during fertility treatment?
The answer is actually quite simple. The most successful procreation activity for people of all genders is my favorite subject: ORGASM. And there is increasing evidence, at long last, that clitoral orgasm may be one of the missing links. Yup, you heard me! We all know that it helps to have sperm present in the vagina to make babies. For males of our species, aka (cis-) men, prostaglandins are available to soften the cervix, while the little swimmers are trying to make their way up the love channels. The same is true for turkey baster sex: obviously inserting sperm into the vagina is necessary one way or another to get the swimmers off to a good start. If a couple or a single person is undergoing fertility treatment, chances are high the little swimmers could use all the help they can get!
Not surprisingly, the female orgasm gets less, if any attention. The same has been true in sex education, media representations of sex, and most heterosexual interactions. It is no surprise that scientists convinced themselves that women’s natural biological function to orgasm has no effect on evolution of the species! In fact, until 2016, most research has suggested that the female orgasm has no effect, and indeed we know that many women who have never had an orgasm can get pregnant. So rest assured it is not an obligation, and if you’ve never had an orgasm, you are still able to become pregnant. However, we are not talking about obligations, here. We are talking about SEX. Fun, mutual, consensual, “let’s do that again!” SEX. After all, we are creating life. Might as well make love to ourselves or someone else in the process!
So, why would FEMALE ORGASM help with fertility? First of all, in both male and females, orgasm releases Dopamine at the nucleus accumbens (the Brain’s Reward Center) and this bliss moment, at the reward center tells us to “do that again”, and again and again. The brain’s reward center is designed to reward us for activities that keep each of us alive, and keep the species going. We are rewarded with dopamine after eating, drinking, peeing, pooing (because you’d die if one of these 4 were not repeated, regularly) and—you guessed it!—ORGASM. Because, if you don’t DESIRE repetitive sex, you can’t make repetitive babies = End of Species.
So, if you want to keep WANTING it, it helps to make it worth wanting. How do you do that? Touch your clitoris! The clitoris IS the sexual pleasure organ for anyone trying to get pregnant. It should be touched, rubbed, licked or vibrated into orgasmic release of oxytocin and dopamine regularly. This is especially true if you want to get pregnant. Why? Because 1) your best access to DESIRING more sex is getting off from sexual pleasure: see brain’s reward center above. Sure, timing sex during your cycle helps, but timing inorgasmic sex makes the 2nd and 3rd round un-sexy. Taking the sexy out of your sex makes it STRESSFUL. This brings us to 2) stress is a body response that is not conducive to conception! The hormones associated with stress are not going to tell your body, “Hey, let’s make a new person right now.” They just aren’t. 3) There is growing evidence that the oxytocin release during orgasm does more than just make you more in love. The love hormone is also causing rhythmic upward contraction of the uterus during orgasm, and recent evidence (by King, Dempsey & Valentine in 2016) suggests this helps sperm up into the uterus, and possibly the fallopian tubes—exactly where we need them to go. Finally, the science starts to match with the natural biology.
This should come as no surprise to anyone. For over a decade I’ve been teaching my patients that our body designs are not accidental. It was hard to make sense of a sexual education that told us intercourse was sex, and it was the only sanctioned activity (everything else was gross, bad, wrong, or just “for play”). It’s hard to stand in awe before the wonder of female orgasm and think: “Hmmm, that must have no purpose, and who cares that only 18.9% or women orgasm from intercourse. Females don’t need orgasm.” Well, it’s finally becoming clear that this ain’t so. If men want women to WANT sex, they need women to get dopamine at that reward center in the brain. THAT is what makes WANT more than any flowers, rings, or ding a lings. We are only starting to understand the importance of orgasm for ongoing sexual desire, and now for arousal and orgasm for fertility. And whether you are partnered, or single, pleasure outcomes for the pre-pregnant body are where the focus needs to be.
So, don’t downplay NATURE. If you want to increase your odds, AND strip your fertility treatment of routine, boring, repetitive, obligatory sex or turkey baster sperm insertion, TRY THIS: get a vibrator! One that works on the outside—you know—where the clitoris is! Bring it to bed with you! Use it during all intercourse, or make love to yourself if you are self-inseminating. Enhance your chance of pregnancy by focusing on female pleasure. ENJOY THIS. Making babies should be a LOVE activity. LOVE yourself! LOVE your partner (if there is one)! LOVE the sex! Every attempt at female orgasm will already improve your odds by the mere fact of lowering your stress levels. Every successful orgasm that precedes or is timed around sperm insertion significantly increases your chances. Dr. King, et al suggest it may be upwards of 15%, but more research is needed. Most importantly, orgasm significantly increases your chances of WANTING to do it again! Sure you WANT a baby, or you wouldn’t be reading this. But WANTING sex for the purposes of procreation quickly enhances your stress response, instead of DESIRING sex for the sake of SEX. And if you’ve missed out on coming, but the sperm is inside, get that vibe going again!!! It can’t hurt, and likely, it’ll feel FABULOUS.
So, if suggest you F yourself! Put the F’s back into Fertility! FUN, FANTASTIC, FOREPLAY that ends in FABULOUS ORGASMIC OXYTOCIN and DOPAMINE for MORE FUN. That’s how you could spell FERTILITY. If you have a partner, get them to help with THAT, and see how a little perspective can go a long way. If you are single, it’s time to make love to yourself like you want YOU to have a baby! You got this!