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No, drinking semen will not help you get pregnant, fertility experts confirm

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Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian are seen out in Portofino on May 20, 2022.
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  • Kourtney Kardashian said her doctor told her drinking semen would help her conceive a baby.
  • Two fertility specialists said drinking semen does not have an effect on pregnancy.
  • Spreading misinformation could confuse people looking to conceive.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Kourtney Kardashian claimed her doctor told her drinking semen her husband Travis Barker's semen "like four times a week" would help them conceive a baby.

Fertility specialists confirm what most people know is true — drinking sperm doesn't increase your chances of pregnancy. 

Dr. Lucky Sekhon, a New York-based obstetrician and gynaecologist, and infertility specialist, and Dr. Anu Kathiresan, a Los Angeles-based fertility specialist, said they did not know why a fertility doctor would recommend drinking sperm as a way to influence fertility.

Sekhon said the reality TV show may have thrown the line out for shock value, as there's "no medical reason" for that recommendation. 

"I think it's a ridiculous thing for her to be putting out there," Sekhon said, regarding Kardashian's statement. "And I think it doesn't make any sense, especially recommending a frequency of four times per week is absolutely ridiculous and not based on anything."

No medical evidence suggests drinking semen impacts fertility

Sekhon said the advice could have come from a theory that semen's interaction with gut bacteria would weaken a woman's immune response.

Sperm contains antigens, or a substance that the body's immune system can react to. But, Sekhon said, while some have theorised that a stronger immune reaction against sperm cells might be related to pregnancy loss, very little research has been done on the topic. And there is no evidence that introducing sperm to a woman's gut bacteria would have any impact on that potential, unproven issue.

Both Sekhon and Kathiresan said no studies have demonstrated drinking semen leads to a greater chance of pregnancy. 

"It's so completely off base and just not based on any sort of science or true medical recommendation," Sekhon said.

Spreading misinformation confuses people trying to conceive

Kathiresan said debunking myths like the one Kardashian purported allows doctors to start a conversation about fertility and destigmatise the struggle to conceive. 

Many celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen and Beyoncé, have recently opened up about their experience with pregnancy loss and reproductive health.

"It's always good to talk about infertility because I do think that helps bring more awareness to this topic and helps bring proper fertility education to patients and just helps to normalise the conversation around infertility and pregnancy loss," Kathiresan said.

But drinking semen, while usually harmless, can sometimes pass on disease and cause an allergic reaction, Sekhon said. She added spreading misinformation about fertility can confuse people trying to conceive, as many of them are already desperate for answers and solutions.

"It is something that was done for shock value and attention, but it can be very harmful and hurtful to people that are going through their own struggle and they're looking for information," Sekhon said.

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