Oral sex with men might be linked to a reduced risk of miscarriage
- Oral sex that involves swallowing semen could potentially reduce the risk of miscarriages in women, according to a new study.
- Researchers found that women in the study who had less oral sex were more likely to have had recurrent miscarriages.
- There were certain caveats. The researchers received some incomplete sexual behavior questionnaires and the study was relatively small.
- Previous research suggests semen, when consumed orally, could reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like preeclampsia.
Miscarriage is the most common way to lose a pregnancy, with somewhere between 10% and 25% of pregnancies ending in an unplanned loss during the first 20 weeks, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
The exact reason miscarriages occur is still unknown, but according to a new study, oral sex with men could be a potential solution.
The study, published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology, found that women who had recurrent miscarriages (defined as three or more miscarriages) had less oral sex with men than those who had no history of miscarriages or pregnancy complications. Recurrent miscarriages affect around 1% of women, according to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The researchers gave 97 women who had multiple miscarriages questionnaires about their recent sexual behaviour, substance use, and medical history.
In the sexual behavior portion of the questionnaire, the women estimated how often they gave oral sex, whether they swallowed their partner's semen, the length of their relationship, and how often they had penetrative sex each month. They were also asked if they used any contraception.
If a woman had recurrent miscarriages due to genetic abnormalities or specific medical conditions, she was not allowed to partake in the study.
After reviewing the questionnaires, the researchers found a potential link between consumption of semen and miscarriage recurrence. Past researched has suggested that semen consumed orally, rather than vaginally, can make a woman's immune system more accepting of outside substances - like a man's sperm during pregnancy attempts.
The researchers noted that sexual intercourse frequency was similar for the control and non-control groups, which led them to believe intercourse did not play a role in miscarriage risk.
There were several caveats to the study. Some women left the questionnaires incomplete, including questions about sexual behavior. The study was also small and self-reported. Plus, most of the women in the study were in their 30s, which means the conclusions don't necessarily hold for younger women.
While there are no conclusive answers for how to prevent miscarriages from happening, diet, exercise, stress levels, and high blood sugar have all been linked to miscarriages in the past.
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