Researchers have found that sexual activity causes some immune system changes that increase a woman’s chances of conceiving significantly. A study conducted at the Indiana University has revealed that sexual activity results in physiological changes in our body that increase a woman’s chance of conceiving even if the period is outside of the ovulation window.

The results of the said study might eventually lead to recommendations regarding the frequency of taking part in sexual intercourse for couples looking to have a baby. The finding might also have a considerable impact on treatment for individuals suffering from autoimmune disorders.

The study’s lead author Tierney Lorenz is a visiting research scientist at Kinsey Institute. The coauthors of the study, on the other hand, are Prof. Gregory E. Demas, a representative of the university’s Department of Biology and Prof. Julia R. Heiman, a representative of the university’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The researchers are also affiliated with IU Bloomington’s Center for Integrative Study of Animal Behavior. Heiman used to be a director of Kinsey Institute and is still affiliated with the organization. Lead author Lorenz often said that couples looking to have a baby are recommended to take part in sexual intercourse frequently for increasing the woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Here, “frequently” means even during the supposed non-fertile periods (the periods when the woman doesn’t ovulate). Lorenz admitted that such recommendations were made even when it’s not clear how the process works. This new study, according to Lorenz, is the first one to reveal that sexual activity might force our body to promote the types of immunity that support conception. She said that the study has presented a new answer to years old puzzle: how sexual intercourses taking place outside the fertile window improve fertility?

Some previously conducted studies have shown changes taking place in immune functions during pregnancy and/or after childbirth. There’s also evidence supporting the fact that women experience changes in their immunity even during the menstrual cycle. However, this IU study is the first one to reveal that sexual activity has a significant role to play in these alterations.

The findings of the study show that there are clear differences between immune system regulation of sexually active women and those who are sexually abstinent. The results produced by the study are based on data gathered from participants of the WISH (Women, Immunity and Sexual health) Study of Kinsey Institute. The study collected data from 30 healthy women across their menstrual cycle. Around 50% of these participants were sexually active and the rest were sexually abstinent.