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Home > Learn > Fertility Treatments > >Is it Okay to Have Sex and Orgasm During the 2WW?

Is it Okay to Have Sex and Orgasm During the 2WW?

Mar 20, 21 4 min

If you’re trying to get pregnant, either on your own or via IUI/IVF, you may be wondering if you are allowed to have sex, masturbate, and orgasm during that time. In this guide, we’ll share the answer.

By Halle Tecco, MPH, MBA

The 2WW, or two-week-wait, is that nail biting wait until you can take a pregnancy test and learn if you are pregnant or not. If you’re trying to get pregnant, either on your own or via IUI/IVF, you may be wondering if you are allowed to have sex, masturbate, and orgasm during that time.

The effects of sex during the 2WW

So does having sex after ovulation affect implantation? In short, you can still get pregnant after ovulation as long as it's within the fertile window. Additionally, an ovulation test can help give you a better understanding of when your fertile window is.

However, Two concerns arise when thinking about sexual intercourse and orgasms during the 2WW:

  • The first is not the orgasm itself, but rather if sex could introduce infection during a critical time for implantation. Infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), anytime during pregnancy can be dangerous for the health of you and your baby.
  • The other concern is if orgasms can initiate uterine contractions. On this point, there is mixed research that orgasming from sex or masturbation can impact embryo implantation.

Overall, there is no research confirming that orgasming from sex or masturbation can impact embryo implantation during non-IVF conception. Orgasming doesn’t impact ovulation and fertilization and is unlikely to impact implantation. However, if you look at the research on sex after IVF, you get a different picture.

Sex after an embryo transfer

If you're planning on getting pregnant with the help of a fertility treatment, sexual intercourse during IVF cycles can be different. Some clinics, like Shady Grove, discourage sex for five to seven days after transfer in what they call “pelvic rest.” They state that this rest gives the embryo optimal time to implant into the uterine lining wall, and that “most IVF patients can resume normal sexual activity a week or two after their embryo transfer.”

Some clinics, like Shady Grove, discourage sex for five to seven days after transfer in what they call “pelvic rest.” They state that this rest gives the embryo optimal time to implant into the uterine wall, and that “most IVF patients can resume normal sexual activity a week or two after their embryo transfer.”

Furthermore, an observational study from Dr. Natalie Crawford of 125 women undergoing IVF fertility treatment found that women who had sexual intercourse once during the implantation window had 1.59 times the odds of miscarriage, and those that had intercourse on two or more days had 2.38 times the chance for miscarriage.

The thought is that during an IVF cycle, the uterine cavity is especially vulnerable to intercourse-related infection since the cervical mucus barrier is disrupted by the catheter used during the embryo transfer.

However, a conflicting study of 478 IVF cycles found that patients who had sex before and after the transfer had the same pregnancy rate as those who did not have sex, but did have higher rates of an ongoing pregnancy. The authors concluded that “exposure to semen around the time of embryo transfer increases the likelihood of successful early embryo implantation and development.”

 

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Sex before an embryo transfer

While you may not want to have sex after an embryo transfer, one study of 300 patients found that having sex the night before an embryo transfer could be beneficial. In fact, patients in this study who had intercourse the night before a transfer had pregnancy rates of 52% and successful implantation rates of 38%, compared to a pregnancy rate of 37% and an implantation rate of 25% for those who did not have intercourse.

So, is it a problem to orgasm during the 2WW and does having sex after ovulation affect implantation? If you’re conceiving without the help of fertility treatments, there’s no evidence that orgasms would be problematic. If you are conceiving with the help of science, the evidence is mixed—so talk to your fertility specialist or doctor.

Take-aways

  • For those trying to get pregnant without IVF fertility treatment, there is no research confirming that orgasming from sex or masturbation during the 2WW can impact embryo implantation
  • For those undergoing IVF, the research about sex after an embryo transfer is mixed. It’s best to talk to your doctor and follow their advice

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Featured Image by Daria Shevstova

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