Improving Your Sex Life When Trying to Get Pregnant

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Trying to conceive sex can be fun and exhilarating... in the beginning. But as the months or years go by, sex may turn into a source of frustration and stress. Research has found that many couples struggle with sex and infertility.

How can you improve your sex life when you're trying to get pregnant?

There are no easy answers. You may feel frustration when reading nuggets of wisdom like "go on more dates together" or "spice up sex with some candles."

Yes, there is a place for these methods. However, it's not always so simple. The pain of infertility can be deep. Sometimes, just finding the energy or willingness to try new things is hard.

As you read through these tips, keep all this in mind. This advice is not meant to downplay how difficult this time can be for you, your partner, and your sexual relationship.

Talk to Each Other

Many couples trying to get pregnant struggle with:

  • feelings of low libido
  • problems getting aroused during sex
  • reaching orgasm 

Some may even start to resent sex. You may question whether your partner would be interested in "bedroom fun" if the ovulation stick wasn't indicating the time was right.

While many people feel these things, most don't talk about them. Instead, they keep it all bottled inside. This intensifies the feelings of isolation, shame, and resentment.

It's not easy, but it's important to talk to each other. Talk about how you feel about sex, what's going through your mind, and what's causing trouble for you.

Perhaps even more difficult, you also need to listen. If your partner tells you that sex has become a chore or a burden, hear what they are saying. Don't automatically assume it is an attack on you.

You are in this together. Only together can you find a way to cope.

Unravel Shame

Infertility can bring up feelings of shame for men and women. It's common for a diagnosis to leave a woman feeling "damaged" or "like less of a woman." Men with infertility may report feeling "less manly."

Even if you once felt sexy and attractive in the past, infertility can change how you see yourself.

The testing and treatment of infertility can also bring up feelings of shame. You may begin to feel like a collection of parts, some working and some not, all subject to evaluation.

One of the best ways to fight shame is to bring your feelings of unworthiness into the open. Shame is a lot like mold. Keep it in a dark place and it'll thrive. Take it out into the sun and fresh air, and it won't grow as quickly.

Talking about your shameful feelings will help. Be sure to choose someone who you think can provide you with a kind ear. (That doesn't mean they have to have personally experienced infertility.) Talk to a friend. Talk to a therapist. Talk to your partner.

Saying out loud that you feel unattractive or voicing your concern that your partner will leave you for a "real man" or "real woman" can be scary. But taking shame into the open is the best way to kill it.

Spice Things Up

No, lighting some candles and playing sexy music isn't going to wash away all the pain infertility has brought into your lives. However, it can help. A little.

It's like making yourself smile when you're feeling bad. You're sure it won't help at all. But once you give it a try, you're surprised by how much better you feel.

Especially when your doctor has "assigned" sex on particular days, spicing things up may be the best way to combat arousal problems.

It may even boost your chances for pregnancy success.

Research has shown that men produce more sperm after looking at sexy images and when feeling more aroused. Women who are sexually aroused are more likely to have more cervical fluids, which will help transport the sperm to the right place.

There's even research to say female orgasm may help with conception.

Use Fertility-Friendly Lubricants

The stress and anxiety of sex for pregnancy can interfere with arousal. For women, this may mean not feeling "wet" or not having arousal fluids during sex. This can make sex painful.

General lubricants on the market are not good for trying to get pregnant. Many of them kill or inhibit the movement of sperm, even without added spermicide.

However, that doesn't mean you have to suffer through painful sex. There are a few fertility friendly lubricants available.

If you often have trouble with arousal fluids, speak to your doctor. It can be a symptom of a hormonal imbalance. The information may help him treat your infertility. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe estrogen. This can help increase cervical fluids.

Drop the Focus on Ovulation and Timing

As long as you are not in the middle of treatment, and your doctor has not assigned you to have sex on a particular day, it may be best to drop ovulation prediction for a while.

Trying to have sex on the most fertile days is a good way to get pregnant faster. But if it's killing your sexual relationship, it's not worth it.

Instead, try having sex two to three times a week, regardless of your ovulation day. If you want to be extra "safe," have sex at least three times a week, maybe even four times. You're bound to have sex on one of your fertile days, even if it's not your most fertile day.

Plus, having sex more often may boost your chances. Sperm is healthier when sex is happening frequently.

Another bonus, if timing sex for pregnancy is turning you off and stressing you out, you may enjoy sex more when it's not planned only for baby making.

Explore Sexual Touch Beyond Vaginal Intercourse

Trying to get pregnant can make us forget that sex is more than intercourse.

Sure, you need vaginal intercourse to get pregnant. (Assuming you're not having IUI or IVF treatment or attempting at-home insemination.) But there are other intimate ways to express love and affection.

Taking time to enjoy touch that can't lead to pregnancy can provide an outlet for sexual enjoyment that isn't tied directly to baby-making.

Have Sex When You Can't Get Pregnant

Another way to bring back the passion and fun is to purposely have sex when you're not ovulating.

During your two-week wait, or before your fertile days at the beginning of your cycle, you can know that sex is not going to lead to a baby. There is less stress and wondering if "this will be the one that works."

It can also heal feelings between partners if one is wondering if they only ask for sex in order to achieve pregnancy. 

See a Therapist

You do not need to go through this alone. There are counselors who are specifically trained to help you cope with the stress of infertility. They can help you and your partner get through this difficult time.

There are also sex therapists, people who are trained to help you with your sexual relationship. Try to find someone with has experience working with fertility-challenged couples, so you don't accidentally get someone giving you false ideas.

(If they tell you that your sexual relationship is the cause of your infertility, for instance, find someone else.)

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Article Sources

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