Can Fertility Treatments and a Healthy Sex Life Coexist?
While sexual problems can affect any couple, women going through infertility treatment often have a higher risk for sexual dysfunction than other women.
If you are dealing with infertility, do any of these characteristics sound familiar?
- Lack of interest in sex, except when you are more likely to conceive.
- Negative feelings about your body, especially after an infertility diagnosis.
- Avoidance of sex and intimacy, for fear of feelings of disappointment and failure
If so, we'd like to help. Here are 7 tips to help you reclaim your sex life when trying to get pregnant:
- Avoid sex on a schedule. Scheduling sex around ovulation might help you get pregnant, but it can also kill the mood. Focus on your ovulation cycle tracking at other times of the day, before the fun begins. You don't want to be staring at spreadsheets while he's ready to get it on.
- Before your romantic evening begins, take some time to create the right atmosphere. Start with a hot oil massage. If thermometers, note pads, ovulation predictor kits, and other tools are making their way into your bedroom, change it up.
- Keep some parts of your sex life private. Do you tend to widely broadcast the details of your sex life? When you are too open, you may lose some of the private, intimate aspects of your sexuality. Check with your partner before discussing your intimacy with others. He may not want details made public.
- Connect with your mate on a deep spiritual level. Go on a couple's retreat or spend a weekend at a romantic destination. You don't even have to have sex if you're not ready. Trade massages, cuddle on the couch, or hold hands. Don’t be afraid to smart small.
- Talk to your partner about your sex life. Do you both need it often, or do you wish you could postpone sex until your most fertile days? Some women like to let their desire build all month, so they are in the mood when ovulation rolls around. Others prefer to have sex often – at least one, two, or three times a week. Check in with yourself, and your partner, and experiment to find out what works best for you.
- Let go of any expectations. Try to enjoy the moment, and focus on mutually satisfying sex. Do not obsess about your own orgasm or getting your partner to climax. That can ruin your own enjoyment.
- If you have lost your sex drive completely, consider talking to a therapist or get checked out by your doctor. Emotional problems, and medical conditions, can zap your desire.
You deserve to feel good. You deserve enjoyment and pleasure. You can overcome your feelings of failure, self-criticism, and depression, and reclaim the sexy woman inside.
Reviewed June 2011 by Dr. Marie Davidson, clinical psychologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois.Sources