Can Saliva Kill Sperm?

Could performing oral sex before doing the deed hurt my chances of getting pregnant?
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profile picture of Lowell T. Ku, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Dallas IVF
Updated March 2, 2017
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If you’re trying to get pregnant, better tell your guy to keep his mouth away from down there. Sorry to spoil the fun, but while saliva doesn’t exactly wipe out all sperm, it does have a slight spermicidal activity. Research has found that when saliva was added to normal semen, it induced a “shaking movement” in 12 percent of the total sperm population. It only happened in high concentrations of saliva, but researchers did find that sperm motility (their ability to swim) was cut down significantly. Their conclusion was that saliva had a “deleterious effect on sperm motility and activity” and should not be used as a vaginal lubricant. So save the oral sex for days when you’re not ovulating and keep to the other kind of sex when the focus is on making a baby.

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