Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or trying not to get pregnant, understanding how our bodies work can be hella confusing. Occasionally things that seem obvious can be so wrong (no, a penis cannot touch the baby’s head while having sex) while other times, it turns out carrying a small human can have some bizarre symptoms.
So, on that subject, it’s probably worth knowing that having sex twice in one night may, in fact, increase your chances of getting pregnant.
New research run by Dr. Da Li at Shengjing University suggests that sperm produced in a second ejaculation has a higher density of proteins, which speed up the sperm—making it more likely to fertilise an egg.
The results, published in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, also found that using sperm produced no more than 180 minutes after a man last climaxed could boost IVF success rates.
During the study, researchers at the hospital tested 500 couples who were preparing for IVF. The men were asked to give semen samples at different times after their first ejaculation.
The embryos were implanted into the women, with the results showing that those who had ejaculated within hours of the first time were more likely to fall pregnant.
Until now, it had generally been advised that couples trying to fall pregnant wait two days between having sex.
Dr Li said: “For years, men have usually been advised to limit sexual activity to increase the chances of pregnancy. However, it’s time to change our minds.
“Our data indicates couples with relatively normal semen parameters should have frequent sex around the ovulation period. This could make all the difference to their efforts to start a family.”
It is worth noting, however, that the study size of this project is small, and more research would be needed to confirm these findings. As it stands, the NHS still recommends “having sex every two to three days throughout the month” for those trying to get pregnant.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.