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Women are likely to become pregnant if they orgasm - expert

Women are up to 15 per cent more likely to become pregnant if they orgasm, a fertility expert has revealed. 

Dr Robert King, who has written a book about the science behind the

Women are up to 15 per cent more likely to become pregnant if they orgasm, a fertility expert has revealed.

Dr Robert King, who has written a book about the science behind the big 'O', says sperm gets 'sucked' towards her dominant ovary when she climaxes.

This is thought to be due to the release of the 'love hormone' oxytocin, which stimulates muscles in the uterus to contract, 'pushing' sperm towards where it needs to go to maximise the chance of conception.

Dr King, a lecturer in applied psychology at University College Cork, stresses 'eroticism and intimacy are not optional ad-ons for reproduction'.

One in seven couples - or 3.5million people - struggle to conceive in the UK, NHS statistics reveal.

In the US, around 10 per cent of women find it difficult to get or stay pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To test the link between the female orgasm and a woman's pregnancy chances, Dr King studied six female volunteers aged between 26 and 52.

The women were asked to record the number of orgasms they achieved at home, while using a vibrator, over a month.

He then compared how much liquid – a self-made lubricant – was in the womens' wombs when they achieved orgasm versus when they did not.

Results suggested that when a woman climaxes, she retains up to 15 per cent more liquid, which is an indicator of the amount of sperm that would collect in her womb.

'Sperm retention in the womb equates to better chances of falling pregnant, as the sperm is taken up into the uterus via the cervix,' Dr King said. 'And female orgasm significantly aids this process.'

The female orgasm has long been a mystery, with evolutionary scientists previously thinking it played no role in reproductive success.

'Some argued female orgasms mustn't do anything, not even forge closer bonds between partners, because it's hard to bring about,' Dr King said.

'But the fact it's sometimes tricky to achieve doesn't mean it's not a vital evolutionary function.

'It's my view that eroticism and intimacy are not optional ad-ons for human sexuality and reproduction.'

BBC documentary maker Lord Winston also made the link between sexual climax and conceiving back in 2010.

'Linking fertility and sexual enjoyment is highly controversial scientifically, not least because many women seldom have an orgasm and many who have never had one often get pregnant without difficulty,' he said.

'I am quite attracted by the theory that contractions of the womb and the fallopian tubes may help pregnancy.'

Dr King - whose new book 'Tulips at Midnight: Exploring the latest Research into the Nature and Function of Female Orgasm' is out later this month - also argues certain male 'characteristics' boost the likelihood a woman will climax.

'In general, females orgasm more with smart, considerate, vigorous lovers with a nice smell - this last one is important because it signifies a compatible immune system,' he said.

And Dr King is not the only fertility expert who believes the female orgasm boosts the chance of pregnancy.

Dr Hana Visnova, medical director at the fertility clinic IVF Cube in Prague, added: 'There's growing evidence of a link between female orgasm and pregnancy rates, and it's an area that warrants further research.'

Dr Visnova also advocates the effectiveness of climaxing in combating stress, which has been linked to infertility.

'When your body is stressed, it essentially goes into "fight or flight" mode,' she explained.

'Hormones including adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine flood the bloodstream, and they tell the body that because there's a perceived threat, now is absolutely not a good time to fall pregnant.

'It's an ancient, evolutionary reaction. And it's a very real barrier. One of the things which can combat stress is sex.'

Dr Visnova recommends couples avoid having 'regimented' sex when trying to conceive, which can 'detract from the joy of the experience'.

'This can lead to emotional instability, relationship problems, sadness, anxiety and even sexual estrangement,' she said. 'The message is clear – we need to ditch the perfunctory, sex-for-a-purpose and always make it enjoyable.'

But the 'gap' between male and female orgasms is wide, with research published last May by the University of Florida finding 91 per cent of male students 'usually' orgasm during sex compared to just 39 per cent of females.

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