Sex helps boost your immune system and a woman’s ability to conceive. So, sex all the time can lead to fewer illnesses and babies? Cool, cool.

Newsweek reported on two new papers published in the journals of Fertility and Sterility as well as Physiology and Behavior, which found that having sex during infertile times can increase a woman’s chance of conceiving. Who knew? Apparently, physicians knew, writes Newsweek’s Jessica Firger, though they didn’t know why, which is what drew a researcher named Tierney Lorenz to a recent study.

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Lorenz and other researchers with the Kinsey Institute and Indiana University took a sample from 30 healthy women, half who were sexually active and half who weren’t.

In the paper published in Fertility and Sterility, researchers found that sexually active women had higher Type 2 T-cell counts during the luteal phase of the cycle—when the uterine lining thickens after ovulation and before a period starts, when a woman is most fertile. Type 2 T-cells help create a more hospitable environment for conception; without functioning Type 2 T-cells, the body’s the immune system would otherwise attack sperm cells and an emerging embryo.

So: the more sex you’re having, the more healthy Type 2 T-cells your body produces, which makes it easier to conceive.

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And the Type 1 T-cell counts of the sexually active women also grew from intercourse just before ovulation, which helps the body fight infections and illness. The second paper in the Physiology and Behavior journal noted that women who were sexually active produced more white blood cells, helpful to fighting “bacteria, viruses and other microbes.” The sexually active women also had a higher number of antibodies at different times in their menstrual cycle, which showed a pattern that their bodies were in a sort of protective mode in case of pregnancy. The non-sexually active women didn’t have the same T-cell counts or number of antibodies as those who were having the sex.

Doctors usually tell couples trying to conceive that more sex is better, and that they should target peak ovulation days. But this new information may mean the former advice is best; just, you know, do it all the time.


Contact the author at hillary@jezebel.com.

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