According to a new study, women who swallow their partner’s semen may be less likely to suffer recurrent miscarriages.
No, this isn’t a late April Fools or some bored students making up a study, this is based on actual scientific research.
The research suggests swallowing a partner’s semen can strengthen a pregnant woman’s immune system, especially in a way which will benefit and aid the healthy growth of foetuses.
It’s believed the semen contains hormones and proteins from the man’s body, and by swallowing and ingesting these, the woman would build up an intolerance to them.
The study was performed at the Leiden University Medical Centre, and published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology.
Scientists gathered a group of 97 women under the age of 36. All the women had experienced three consecutive miscarriages before 20 weeks of gestation with the same partner. They also had a control group of 137 women who’d not experienced any issues in pregnancy.
The researchers also asked the women to fill out questionnaires in order to garner information on their various demographics, sexual behaviours, health, and lifestyle.
The study found 41 out of 72 women (56.9 per cent) who’d experienced miscarriage reported having oral sex with their partner, while 70 out of 96 (72.9 per cent) of the women in the control group reported the same.
While it’s a small study, the research suggests women who experience a miscarriage were less likely to have oral sex.
The study found, while vaginal exposure to the male’s semen is important too (more so than for the obvious reasons), the absorption of semen through the woman’s gut can also be beneficial.
The study authors wrote, via IFLScience:
This is in line with the hypothesis that the gut has the most adequate absorption in the absence of an inflammatory environment, and seminal fluid contains soluble HLA antigens which can already induce maternal immune tolerance towards inherited paternal antigens of the fetus before implantation.
Though it was only a small study, the researchers believed it was a route worth investigating further, writing:
In conclusion, this study suggests a possible protective role of oral sex in the occurrence of recurrent miscarriage in a proportion of the cases.
However, further research is of course necessary, adding:
Future studies in women with recurrent miscarriage explained by immune abnormalities should reveal whether oral exposure to seminal plasma indeed modifies the maternal immune system, resulting in more live births.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.