Sex & Infertility: 5 Ways to Deal with Problems
Has your sex drive disappeared? Do you feel less sexy since infertility treatments began?
Experts find infertile women twice as likely to experience troubles in the bedroom as their fertile peers. The emotional upheaval of infertility, combined with side effects of medications and other fertility treatments, can put a strain on your once hot and heavy sex life. But you don't have to let this happen.
- Be understanding. If your partner struggles with impotency, avoid criticizing or insulting him. If problems persist, encourage him to see a fertility doctor.
- Let him know what you like. When you are trying to get pregnant, you may be tempted to focus on the end result: his climax. You, too, deserve pleasure and satisfaction. Even on your most fertile days, don't just lie there and wait for him to "get it over with." Make sure you are having fun, too.
- Take time to unwind. If you feel tense or just not feeling up to it, share a small glass of wine with your sweetie before you hit the bedroom. A small amount of alcohol helps some people loosen up and relax. Just don't go overboard on the liquor. (Ask your doctor it is safe for you to drink alcohol when trying to get pregnant).
- Give yourself a break. Sex doesn't have to happen every night, or every week. If your partner wants sex and you don't, assure your partner that you are not rejecting him. Kiss him, cuddle, or show him affection in other ways.
- Talk to your doctor. If you or your partner suffer from low sexual desire, pain during sex, or other sex-related problems, don't be shy. Help is available.
If your sex drive plummets due to the stress of infertility treatment, remember that it can cause many physical and emotional changes. You may not necessarily be as hot and heavy in the bedroom as you were in years past, but it is possible for you and your partner to enjoy intimacy. Ask your doctor for help if you need it, or consider individual or couples counseling.
Note: We understand that female partners are also struggling with intimacy when trying to conceive. In this article, we refer to your partner as "him," but almost all of the tips above apply to female couples too!
Reviewed June 2011 by Dr. Marie Davidson, clinical psychologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois.Sources