Friday, July 2, 2010

The Insuck Hypothesis: ORGASMS, part 2

I've also heard that an orgasm helps to suck the sperm into the uterus. I never worried about that variable, though. I figured enough sperm would find their way in, and, like I said last time, there's no way I'm going to be able to come at just the right moment. And feeling like I'm ruining my chances to ever have a child is sure going to make it completely impossible. Just thinking I might get pregnant makes it impossible for me to come. SO. What's the story? Does it matter?

As you might guess, there's not a ton of good research on this question. Would you volunteer to participate in such a study? HELLS TO THE NO, say I! But here's what I was able to find.

The first place I could find any mention of this phenomenon is in a 1972 paper that demonstrates a pressure gradient between uterus and vagina just after orgasm, which, the authors suggest, might "allow for the insuck of the cervical mucus in which the spermatazoa have been trapped after ejaculation" (p. 249). They suggest that this effect is probably only important in cases where the male has a low sperm count.

A more recent paper says the insuck hypothesis is "contentious", and suggests that while female arousal has physiological benefits (i.e., getting lubed up is good: "...the enhanced blood flow to the surface capillaries increases the oxygen partial pressure of the hypoxic vaginal fluid and the buffers of the transudate help in the neutralization of its normally acidic pH. Both these changes facilitate spermatozoal metabolism, motility, and survival." HOTTTT!), it's all about the vaginal tenting. I'll just include that part of the paper below, as it's quite interesting. (Click to see larger, obviously...) They suggest you actually want to keep the sperm OUT of the uterus initially!

So here's what I conclude: if you have no problem having an orgasm during or after baby-makin' sex, don't change a thing, girl! But if that's not how it works for you, don't change a thing, girl! (So yes, Twangy, it's a LIE!)


  1. Ah yes, vaginal tenting and storage sites. The best part, though? " in rabbits" (don't think for a moment that we missed that one):) Looks like the pressure can truly be off then (and if the word "insuck" didn't take the wind out of my sails then nothing will).

    And, sadly, I MIGHT participate in such a study if the researchers could assure me that a baby would be the end result. (HA!)

  2. Adele, I think I'm with you. "Oh, free medical treatments? And all I have to do is try to orgasm in this sterile laboratory? Sign me up!"

  3. PHEW. Wipes sweat off brow..
    Thank you, bunny, for your excellent report. I am relieved, so to speak, enjoyment of sex being one of those "just relaaaax" things.

    So what is the biological reason for the orgasm at all? Just so women are motivated to have sex and thus continue the human race, maybe. I wonder. All very hit and miss, anyway. So slapdash, Nature. I give you a C. Could do better.

  4. So sexy! This is fascinating stuff. As someone who gets NO CM (none!), I was COMPLETELY intrigued by the arousal fluid info and how it can help. I'll be sending the study link to my hubs, as we were just discussing the finer points of "would lube help us?" and "do I have CM waaay up there somewhere and just don't know it?" and "well at least I'm not bone dry, that's got to help, right?" in bed this morning. TMI! Thanks Bunny. xo

  5. You don't want to know what sorts of images the phrase "vaginal tenting" brings up. Now I'm going to wonder during sex if the little girl scouts in my nether parts are hammering in stakes and lines to tent my vaginal walls.

    Thanks for the report, though. I've heard so much conflicting information about O'ing and TTC that I've pretty much decided to ignore most of it.

  6. Only you, Bunny, would be able to find this kind of research. My favourite part is that the first paper is from 1972. Or maybe the use of the word "insuck". Can't wait to read the ORGASM part 3.

  7. I have trouble getting past the word "insuck" without giggling. I admit it.

    Nothing like feeling like you MUST have an orgasm to really bring one on. So sexy that way.

    fwiw, I think the term "vaginal tenting" would scare the Boy out of there for possibly ever. So I'm closing this post down.

  8. I can always count on you to tell me about research I didn't know existed and to make me snarf my seltzer. You've done it again!

  9. I just read all the posts I missed while I was gone and they were brilliant as usual. Thanks for the great read!!

    As for insuck, I usually try to do a few kegel type movements after sex, while I'm lying there for 20 minutes with my hips elevated. I don't know if it does anything, but I figure it can't hurt.

    Also, the time I did get pregnant (this time), we had sex twice in a row, within about 30 minutes. Usually I have my orgasm first, so this time I did have another one within 30 minutes of the first ejaculate, and maybe that did something? Anyways, that overshare was my attempt to provide some data here...