Why Doctors Prescribe Sex During a Fertility Treatment

couple in bed looking at each other
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If you're taking fertility drugs, either Clomid or injectable medications, your doctor may assign sex for particular days of your cycle. Needing to have sex on demand, or doctor-prescribed sex can be anxiety-provoking. Here are ways to cope.

Make a Date of It

If you're going to have sex, you might as well enjoy it, right? Take time to really get into the mood. Go out for dinner at a fancy, no-kids-allowed restaurant, or maybe cook up a romantic meal at home. Put on music both you and your partner enjoy, and wear something that makes you feel attractive.

Maybe you'll want to watch a romantic movie together, either a favorite or one you haven't seen before. Adult movies are also an option if that is something you both enjoy.

Quickies Are Okay

On the other hand, maybe you're not in the mood for "fancy" sex. You'd rather just have a quickie, and get it over with. That's okay and so understandable.

You may have read that the more enjoyable sex is, the better your fertility. Some studies have found higher sperm counts in men when sexual arousal was higher, and some wonder if female orgasm might help boost pregnancy.

However, no one says that you can't get pregnant with quickie-sex. Don't use the research to beat yourself up for not being in the mood.

Try to Forget About the Treatment

Okay, I know, asking you to forget why you're having sex is probably impossible. But at least try to pretend you're having sex just because you want to.

Yes, the doctor may have told you to have sex on these particular days, but who says you couldn't have sex on any day you want? Including these particular days?

Some people feel weird having sex when they know that their doctor or fertility nurse knows "what they're doing" that night. This comes from that societal idea that sex is something to hide or be ashamed of.

Keep in mind that you're not the only couple with homework-sex that night. Also, your doctor or nurse is probably more worried about their own sex lives than what is going on in your bedroom.

Keep Your Sense of Humor

A sense of humor can help you deal with the fumbling and awkwardness of homework-sex. Just the idea of a doctor assigning sex on a particular night sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.

Laugh together, and you'll release tension and feel better about the process.

Be Patient With One Another

There's so much pressure riding on both of you when you're having doctor-prescribed sex. Not to mention the frustration of trying to get pregnant, and the possible resentment that you have to have sex on these particular days. The tension may lead to frustration with each other or even arguments.

Try to be patient with one another. This isn't either of your faults, and no one wants or deserves to deal with infertility. It doesn't matter who has the fertility problems because no matter how you slice it, you are dealing with infertility together as a couple.

If strong emotions are rising, like anger or sadness at the situation, talk them out. Cry it out. You'll feel better, and sex may even bring you closer together after sharing.

Performance anxiety is common for men, especially if a diagnosis of male infertility has led to shame or feelings of inadequacy. If sex isn't going well, take a break. Go have a drink (unless otherwise medically unadvised, one small glass of wine probably won't hurt), or talk about how you're feeling.

If you know ejaculation just isn't going to happen, consider leaving it for morning to try again. Testosterone levels are higher then, and so it may be easier.

And if you aren't able to have sex during any of the assigned days, be sure to tell your doctor. I know it's embarrassing, but you're not the first to experience this. It's important that your doctor knows that you didn't get pregnant because of sexual tension, and not because you need stronger drugs or treatments.

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Article Sources

  • van Roijen JH, Slob AK, Gianotten WL, Dohle GR, van der Zon AT, Vreeburg JT, Weber RF. "Sexual Arousal and the Quality of Semen Produced by Masturbation."  Human Reproduction. 1996 Jan;11(1):147-51.