Yep, I just went there.
We’re gonna have ourselves a little sex talk for the first time here at BB. It’s important stuff — because understanding what impacts gut health can impact you or your future children’s health.
All disease begins in the gut. So for optimal health, we need optimal gut health. And sex has the potential to throw off your gut in a surprising way. As well as your children’s.
Allow me to explain…
Why You Need a Healthy Gut to Have Healthy Children
If you’re a woman who has abnormal gut flora — and thus, an unhealthy, leaky gut — you will pass that down to your children as you birth them.
Babies enter into the world having had a completely sterile gut, so the first bacteria that populates their little intestines comes from mama’s birth canal. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, creator of the GAPS nutritional protocol for gut healing, says that the flora in the birth canal comes from the flora in your gut — if you think about it, anatomically, they are pretty close in proximity.
If a baby is born via cesarean, whatever bacteria that’s in the air, on the surgical tools, or from the hands and gloves that touch them is what ends up populating the gut. Hospital bacteria — not exactly the best source for probiotic flora!
Anyway. The point is that bacteria transfers effectively throughout different areas throughout the body, such as from skin to gut, especially from contact with the genitals which are closely-tied, microbially-speaking, to the gut.
What does all this have to do with sex?
Well, like I said, the bacteria in your gut and in your birth canal intermingle — what goes in one, can end up in the other. And it’s not always a one-way street from gut to groin. After all, your baby gets bacteria all the way into their gut just by coming into contact with your birth canal. So, what else do we do with our “canals?”
It’s important that you be choosy about what you expose yourself to down there.
So what lives in mom’s vagina? It’s a very richly populated area of a woman’s body. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal. Fathers are not exempt because fathers also have gut flora, and that gut flora populates their groin and they share their groin flora with the mother on a regular basis.
The takeaway from this is that if a couple wants to heal mom’s gut with GAPS in order to pass along healthy gut flora to their children, dad ought to go on GAPS too — because just like with women, gut flora will live on their reproductive organs as well.
A sexual partner with abnormal gut flora can pass it onto you.
Let’s break it down.
Bad gut flora in your man = bad flora on his genitals + sex = bad flora in your genitals = bad flora able to enter into your gut and proliferate = abnormal gut health which can set the stage for diseases ranging from autoimmune disorders, food allergies, mental illness, hormonal malfunctioning, and more.
Oh, and + birthing a child = potential for baby to develop autism, ADHD, and any other disorder that stems from gut damage.
If you’re going through GAPS and having sex with your partner who still has abnormal gut flora (and nearly all of us in modern industrial societies do), you could be hurting your progress in healing your gut. It’s possible you could even disrupt a healthy, already-healed gut by introducing someone else’s abnormal gut flora into your system through sex.
Healing your gut is hard work. GAPS takes dedication and a big investment of your time and energy. So why risk undercutting all the effort you’re making in repairing and populating your gut with healthy flora, by mixing up someone else’s unhealthy flora in there?
If you’re not gonna heal your gut, then share away your mutually pathogenic microbes as you please.
But I really would encourage any woman working on reversing gut damage with GAPS, and especially anyone planning on having children, to try to get their partner to do it. If you’re gonna “do it,” that is.
With that said, I don’t want you to ban your husband from the bedroom if he refuses to go on GAPS — if you’re building up healthy flora in your gut from the protocol, you’re also building up your immune system. You’ll be better at fending off the bad bacteria with a strong gut.
It’s still ideal for both partners to optimize gut health, however. And it’s still true that the microbes from his gut can be passed onto yours — but how well you’re able to counteract them with your own healthy gut flora, matters.
How’s that for birth control?
Anyone gonna tell their teenage daughters about this? “Sweetie, if you have sex, just know that the germs from that boys genitals are going to creep into your intestines and could end up giving you an autoimmune disease. You kids have fun, now!”
Pretty brilliant, no? 😉 You’ve gotta tell me if you try that tactic.
Actually, I’d love to hear all your thoughts about this. Please share below!