Does Sex Destroy The Ovulation Egg?

I sometimes hear from people who know that a woman’s egg (which is released during her ovulation window) is somewhat fragile.  Most people realize that it has a short life span, but not everyone realizes what contributes to it eventually dying off.  I’ve had people ask me if the sperm itself kills the egg.  Someone might say,”my husband and I would like to become pregnant, but we have been trying for 8 months with no luck. I’m starting to think that my body kills off my husband’s sperm.  Sometimes when we have sex, I have an itching sensation.  Is this possible?  Does the act of sex break down the egg and kill it off?”

I am not a doctor, but according to my research, most of the time, it does not.  For most women, time is the greatest enemy of the egg.  Once it is released, it only has days in which to live before it begins to weaken and then die off. If it is not fertilized by sperm, this die off becomes a menstrual period and then you have to wait for your next ovulation period in order to try to become pregnant again.  So for most women, the sperm has the ability to fertilize the waiting egg, not to kill it off.

However, there are rare exceptions.  Some women have a sperm allergy where they are allergic to the proteins in sperm.  So when the couple has sex, the woman might actually get hives or have itching / pain.  This condition can be painful, but assuming that the couple can have sex, this condition does not affect fertility.  However, there is another condition in which the woman has antibodies to sperm.  Instead of the antibodies killing the egg, however, they kill or damage the sperm, which can make it difficult for the couple to become pregnant.  This condition is called immunologic infertility.  It is a relatively rare condition.

Your doctor can test you for either one of these conditions and can treat accordingly if you have one. However, both conditions are pretty rare, with the sperm allergy being more common of the two.  Most gynecologists recommend getting a check up if you’re not able to conceive after a year of trying because it can take some months to get your timing right.  Not every attempt at conception results in a pregnancy.  To increase your chances, you will want to test your ovulation (using predictors like these on Ebay) and then have sex after you get a positive reading (assuming that you will be happy with either gender.)  This ensures that you are depositing sperm when the egg is fresh and new and will give you the best chance of conceiving.  If you are just guessing as to your ovulation time, you might be surprised at your test results.  Some women ovulate much sooner or later than they assumed.  So if you are missing that window, it will not be very easy to get pregnant since the egg might be early or late and the sperm is just missing it each time.  But to answer the original question, most of the time, sex does not harm the egg.  But there are some rare cases where the woman will have a sperm allergy or have antibodies to sperm.  If this is suspected, your doctor can test for it.

If you have a preference as to whether you conceive a boy or a girl, I’ve put together some free websites to outline the steps you’d want to take. If you’d like a girl baby, see If you want a boy baby, see