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02nd Feb 2021

Eight percent of couples seeking fertility treatment fell pregnant naturally during lockdown

Trine Jensen-Burke

fell pregnant naturally during lockdown

More sex and less stress.

More and more couples are having to seek fertility treatment in order to start or expand their family these days. And with that, millions of euros are being spent trying to get pregnant.

However, according to a new study, for some of these couples, the answer could be as simple as just taking the time to have more sex.

Recently, Italian scientists tracked 431 couples having assisted reproductive therapy when lockdown was imposed between March and May last year – temporarily halting their treatment.

And interestingly, during this period, 34 of the couples –which works out around 8 percent – fell spontaneously pregnancy, without any medical help or intervention at all.

When asked by the researchers about this, the couples admitted to having had sex three or four times a week during lockdown.

However, among non-pregnant couples, sex happened less than twice a week.

Researchers at the University of Modena, Italy, said lockdown had provided the perfect circumstances to study the frequency of sex among couples mostly confined to home.

‘The high pregnancy rate in a very short time-frame reveals an under-explored cause of infertility – the frequency of sexual intercourse,” the researchers wrote in a report, published in the journal Andrology.

“Fertility treatment should be directed at those who really need it, avoiding unnecessary over-treatment for those couples able to conceive spontaneously.”

The report also added: ‘Doctors should better investigate the sexual habits of infertile couples, such as the number of times a week that they have intercourse.’

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Sheena Lewis, a specialist in reproductive medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, said: ‘This study highlights the fact that couples with infertility issues often lose interest in sex. But it involves a small number of women.

‘And if there are specific issues to blame for the infertility – such as a woman’s blocked Fallopian tubes or a man’s lack of sperm, no amount of sex will lead to pregnancy.’