Is Sex the Cure for Morning Sickness? (Probably Not, but It May Be Worth A Shot)

ByRachel Sylvester
Assistant Editor, The Knot
Published
Jul 2012
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Photo: Getty Images / The Bump

In news that’s sure to excite your partner, a psychologist is theorizing that the cause of — and cure for — morning sickness is none other than your baby’s father. More specifically, his semen.

According to Slate, Gordon Gallup of SUNY-Albany Gallup argues that since half of a baby’s genetic makeup belongs to its father, it’s possible that a woman’s body treats that DNA as a foreign substance. So the mother experiences an immune reaction that involves vomiting and nausea, the same way it would if you caught a virus. Luckily, Gallup feels that the cause and the cure are both one and the same: (you guessed it) semen.

Although the theory has yet to be tested (read: nowhere near proven), Gallup speculates that to prevent symptoms of nausea during the first trimester, a woman should frequently expose herself to her partner’s semen in order to develop a higher tolerance to his genetic makeup. In other words, the more often a woman is inseminated leading up to and during pregnancy (he’s talking regular sex and oral), the less sick she’ll feel.

We had a good laugh about this theory — and are wondering if Gallup has a wife who’s now in the early stages of pregnancy — but there are plans to actually study it. Plus, there are more interesting tidbits:

Gallup says that a woman’s reaction to her mate’s DNA is a maternal adaptation that favors the best potential suitor. So we should interpret hugging the toilet bowl as a sign that we chose the wrong husband?

He also says that women with little to no sexual contact or those who use condoms are more susceptible to feeling queasy. And also predicts that women with two or more children should experience lessened symptoms of morning sickness with each consecutive pregnancy.

Of course, we’ve got to wonder, if you’re feeling really sick, how you’re going to get into the mood. But if you’re desperate to feel better, a roll in the hay might be worth a shot. Of course, we’ll remain skeptical until we see the results of Gallup’s study.

How was your experience with morning sickness? What do you think of this theory?

Plus, more from The Bump:

Foods That Ease Morning Sickness

What Causes Morning Sickness?

Sick of Being Sick

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