There are a whole lot of rumors out there about women’s sexual pleasure. And sometimes, it can feel difficult to ask the questions that help us separate fact from fiction — questions like: does female masturbation cause infertility?
If this is something that’s been on your mind, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to look at the science behind conceiving a baby and how it relates to masturbation. And along the way we’ll put to bed some common myths.
In this article: 📝
- The 411 of reproduction
- Masturbation and ovulation
- Masturbation and implantation
- What does masturbation mean for fertility?
The 411 of reproduction
Let’s start by looking at what happens when a baby is conceived.
For something so amazing, and that can be so difficult, the mechanics are actually quite simple.
An egg is released from your ovary.
If it runs into a sperm at the right time at the fallopian tube, it’s fertilized — that’s conception.
Once an egg is fertilized, it becomes a zygote.
Now, it travels down the fallopian tube, growing from a zygote to an embryo, as it increases in size.
It finally makes its way to the uterus and attaches itself to the wall.
There it stays, with the cells dividing, and dividing again.
From 10 weeks into pregnancy, the embryo starts to look more like a baby.
During this time, it’s known as a fetus.
So now, to the question of the hour — can you get pregnant from masturbating? The short answer is: nope.
Sperm and an at least one egg have to be part of the equation. If only one of these is present, it’s a no-go.
So what — if anything — does female masturbation have to do with conceiving? Well, very little.
Masturbation and ovulation
For an egg to be fertilized, there first has to be an egg.
In most cases, one egg is released from your ovaries every month.
It’s rare, but sometimes, it’s more than one.
And in some cases, no egg is released at all.
So does female masturbation affect ovulation? Not exactly.
There’s some recent research to suggest that the reason we have orgasms at all might have once had something to do with helping us ovulate.
But this is, by no means, the only theory. We just don’t know for sure.
So what does trigger ovulation?
Well, there are two key hormones here — estrogen and luteinizing hormone (or LH).
Your levels of estrogen vary at different times of the month.
When the level is high enough, it triggers a burst of LH. It’s the LH that makes the egg mature. And it also triggers its release from the ovary.
If you reach an orgasm when you masturbate, that does affect hormone levels. But it doesn’t have anything to do with either estrogen or LH.
So relax and enjoy your body. It won’t have an effect on ovulation or getting pregnant.
Masturbation and implantation
But what about when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus? Can orgasm affect implantation?
We can see where this idea might come from.
During orgasm, the walls of the uterus contract and release.
So is there any chance that this movement could impact the egg’s ability to implant?
The good news is, there’s no evidence to support this.
After all, many women become pregnant as a result of having sex.
It wouldn’t make a lot of sense if having an orgasm prevented that result.
And in fact, there’s some evidence that having an orgasm could actually help your chances of conception.
When you climax, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin.
It’s the oxytocin that causes the muscles in your uterus and fallopian tubes to contract.
Some scientists think these contractions may help sperm move more quickly to the egg.
There’s also some evidence that you may retain more sperm if you climax after your partner.
It’s true that the evidence that orgasm helps with conception isn’t very clear.
But it certainly won’t hurt your chances to masturbate — either alone, or whilst having sex.
(We know — the TTC journey can be tough. If you need some support along the way, reach out to your Peanut community. We don’t have to do this alone.)
What does masturbation mean for fertility?
So does female masturbation cause infertility?
The answer is a big, fat no.
You could masturbate all day and all night, and it wouldn’t harm your chances of conceiving one bit.
(Well, unless you were doing it instead of having sex!)
Masturbation is a normal, healthy part of life. It can even have health benefits.
So book a solo girl’s night in, relax and enjoy.
💡 More from The 411:
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Vaginal Massage: Benefits and Methods
How to Spice Things Up in the Bedroom
9 Hilarious (and Outrageous!) Confessions From Women on Peanut
What is Squirting?
How to Make Your Vagina Smell Good
Having Sex on Your Period: What to Know
All You Need to Know About the Clitoral Erection
How To Have Sexual Dreams: 5 Tips
Vagina Diagram Labeled: All You Need to Know