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Misconception: An Orgasm Will Help Me Conceive

FACT: Experiencing an orgasm each time she has baby-making sex may greatly increase a woman’s enthusiasm for working on Project Pregnancy, but there’s no medical or anatomical reason that a woman needs an orgasm in order to conceive.

That’s not to say that the female orgasm is an unnecessary frill designed with no purpose in mind. Unlike the male orgasm, which has a dual biological function—pleasure and reproduction—the female orgasm has a one-track mind. And if that orgasm motivates a woman to want to have sex—and that sex leads to reproduction—well, that’s just a reproductive perk, biologically speaking. “There’s enough pressure when you’re trying to conceive without feeling like you have to have fabulous sex every time,” says Anne Adams, Deputy Executive Director of The American Fertility Association.

So have we heard the last of the myth of the mandatory female orgasm?

Unlikely. A group of scientists has been trying to make the case for years that female orgasms do aid conception; that the contractions that occur during a female orgasm cause the mouth of the cervix to dip down into the vagina, suctioning up sperm. Other scientists say there’s not enough data to support the theory.

The takeaway message in the meantime? Treat great sex as a fabulous dividend—not a conception prerequisite.

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