From old wives tales to modern research studies, there is no shortage of material on the topic of infertility. For women dealing with the issue, the amount of information available can be overwhelming, especially with so many myths to be dispelled. So let’s fact check one conception-related question you might be wondering about: Does female masturbation affect fertility?
So, what’s the deal? Does masturbation and (hopefully) orgasm promote fertility? To answer that question, we reached out to Dr. Sheryl A. Ross (aka Dr. Sherry), OB/GYN, author, and health expert. Her answer: No studies have definitively proven that masturbation and a resulting orgasm promote fertility, but anecdotally, there’s reason to believe this is true.
“Women get pregnant without orgasm, right? But orgasm does have physical benefits as it relates to what it’s doing to the uterus," Ross tells Romper. Essentially, she says, the contractions of the uterus could help move the sperm along to the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. “It can’t hurt,” she adds. “Anything that’s going to propel the sperm in the right direction can promote fertility.”
The so-called "sucking" motion the uterus makes as it contracts during orgasm could push the sperm to the right location. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee improved fertility or conception, but it’s certainly worth a try.
Dr. Cindy Basinski, a gynecologist and urogynecologist with Basinski & Juran, M.D.s, is less inclined to believe an orgasm can actually push sperm toward the egg. "I would say overall it has zero affect one way or another," she says. However, she believes masturbation can help women with fertility issues in reducing stress and making them feel more sexual, which in turn could help improve and increase their sexual relations with their partner.
"Masturbation has positive benefits for people by decreasing stress, allowing a person to understand their body better, helping them have a better sexual experience because they know what feels good for them," she says. "But it can have negative effects if you're doing a lot of masturbation and therefore not interested in having sex with your partner."
Basinski adds, "I would say if you find masturbation beneficial to your life and it improves your sex life, then it won’t affect your ability to get pregnant, but it could help you."
Dr. Cindy Basinski, OB/GYN, Basinski & Juran, M.D.s