Does a woman need to orgasm to conceive?

I get asked if the female orgasm helps conception and I get asked if the female orgasm harms the chances. It does neither.

When a woman is aroused, there is an increased blood flow to the vagina. The vaginal walls release a clear fluid that lubricates and neutralizes vaginal acidity and helps sperm survive. During orgasm, the inner one-third of the vagina balloons and the uterus rises and contracts as the pelvic floor muscles contract.

It seems like these changes might help a woman conceive, but it does not seem to matter. This has been studied, believe it or not. A review of all the literature on the topic, published in 2011, concluded: "The bulk of the reported evidence favors the conclusion that the female orgasm... has little or no effective role in the transport of spermatozoa in natural human coitus." They then go on to say that if it does not help sperm enter the uterus and tubes, it does not have an effect on fertility.

I think this passes the common-sense test too. About 30% of women have never been able to achieve an orgasm, but not 30% of women are infertile. Why can't so many women orgasm?

Not much is known about the female orgasm. The pharmaceutical industry has been trying for decades to find a treatment for female "anorgasmia" without success. Now that would be a popular medication... step aside, Viagra.

The reasons women can't orgasm are complex and include:
-Relationship factors
-Sociocultural factors
-Certain medications
-Negative past experiences

Treatment of female anorgasmia is largely centered around counseling and education on sexuality.

So, if you cannot orgasm, talk to your family doctor, who can recommend a counselor, sex therapist, or similar specialist to help. Don't worry about your fertility though; sperm make their way into your uterus whether you orgasm or not.

Dear God, I hope my mother is not reading this.