Curious how semen affects your body during pregnancy? Experts believe semen (and sperm) may be able to prevent preeclampsia and cure morning sickness.

There are many advantages to having pregnancy sex, including lowered blood pressure, improved sleep, and increased intimacy, but did you know that if you engage in penis-in-vagina intercourse there may be an added benefit? It's true. While many of these claims need more research, introducing seminal fluid into your birth canal might not be such a bad idea. 

Pregnant Belly Illustration

Here are three surprising benefits of semen during pregnancy.

Preeclampsia Prevention

A high-risk pregnancy condition, preeclampsia is defined by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine. It occurs in 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation, and it can cause complications like a low birth weight baby, placental abruption, preterm delivery, kidney failure, and maternal and/or fetal death. 

Researchers in Denmark released a 2017 study linking semen and preeclampsia. In summary, those who had greater exposure to seminal fluid before conception had a lower risk of developing preeclampsia. Those with six months or less of exposure had a higher instance of the condition. One possible reason: semen contains a protein, HLA-G, that improves the immune system. More exposure to the paternal cells in this protein can help create "immunity" against preeclampsia, so to speak. 

Along those lines, research from 2000 published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology showed that swallowing semen is linked to a decreased preeclampsia risk. More research is needed to confirm these theories, however. 

Morning Sickness Cure

According to one SUNY-Albany psychologist, Gordon Gallup, increased semen exposure could cure your debilitating morning sickness. Gallup's theory states that a pregnant person's body rejects paternal cells in the fetus as a foreign substance, according to Slate. The body tries to expel this unfamiliar genetic material through nausea and vomiting. 

If this theory holds, the cure for morning sickness may be exposing yourself to semen through either vaginal or oral sex. This would help your body develop a "tolerance" to paternal DNA, thus decreasing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The exposure should ideally happen before conception and throughout the first few weeks of pregnancy. Of course, more information is needed to prove Gallup's theory, so take this with a grain of salt. 

Labor Induction

If a pregnant person is overdue, some experts say that having penis-in-vagina sex could possibly bring on labor, says Jimmy Belotte, an OB-GYN in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health at Montefiore Health System, and an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Part of the reason is that orgasms mimic uterine contractions, and sex releases a hormone that's associated with labor (oxytocin). 

But semen might play a role, too. Seminal fluid contains a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which is capable of ripening the cervix, says Dr. Belotte. In fact, a synthetic form of prostaglandins are also used in labor induction medications like misoprostol.