Tips to recreate the intimacy in your sex life after infertilityMay 17, 2021
I’m going to be completely honest.
Infertility ruined my sex life.
And from a poll I recently conducted over on Instagram, 88% of people said that their fertility struggles had an impact on their sex life.
You see, when you decide to have a baby, you imagine the passionate love-making as you create a life.
But it doesn’t always happen like that.
After the first few months, it becomes a chore. Like you're telling your partner to take the trash out.
As soon as the romance goes out the window, that’s when it all goes downhill.
He can’t perform, or he starts resisting. We basically have to beg our partner to have sex with us.
And then it becomes about us. Perhaps he doesn’t love me anymore? Maybe he doesn’t find me attractive. Does he not really want kids? Do I have to do EVERYTHING myself?
But we don’t talk about it, because we’re too hurt. After each failed attempt we just roll over and quietly cry into our pillow, knowing that we missed our window and another month has passed.
We go into this process, never imagining that the sex is going to be the hard part or that having sex regularly is going to make it stressful on our relationship.
But here we find ourselves shaking our heads thinking, I never thought making a baby would have been so tough.
Now that my journey is over, I have spoken to my husband for the truth. Why did it impact our sex life? Why didn’t he want to have sex? Why was it such a struggle for us?
WHY is SEX the hard part of baby-making?
Here's what I have discovered.
Firstly, it’s not YOU. I mean it. He wanted to have sex with you before you started trying to have a baby, and he still does. Our first instinct is to blame ourselves, which goes into our self-limiting beliefs and our own insecurities. I had been cheated on in a previous relationship, so a rejection for sex from my husband, brought up a whole lot of self-doubt I’d been holding onto.
Scheduling sex is awkward. You never put it on your calendar before, so when it starts being put up there like a chore, that’s what it becomes. Something that needs to be ticked off your to-do list. Like taking out the trash. And that’s where the romance starts getting sucked out.
Performance pressure. Every single month he can see the sadness when you’re not pregnant, so every single time you tell him you need to have sex, he feels a huge amount of pressure to make this time “the one”. Men are the fixers and want to make everything ok, and when they can’t, it really starts to get to them. And just like stress affects your ability to conceive, it affects their ability to perform.
Hello Foreplay? I remember on many occasions, telling my husband that this was our window and we had to have sex. I would practically march him to the bedroom. There was zero spontaneity. And foreplay? Well, it was approached with all the romance of a wet blanket. No wonder it wasn’t fun!! The goal was a baby, not an orgasm or fun. And while we can have sex without being turned on, unfortunately our partner can’t.
So now you know why this is happening. Next question -
How do you keep the intimacy and sex alive in your relationship while trying to get pregnant?
How do you stop infertility from ruining your sex life?
Here are some tips for you –
- I know it may be a little awkward, but talking about how you feel in relation to sex and the struggles each of you are having (but in a non-confrontational way) will definitely help. I wish I had spoken to my husband at the time, so I knew what he was going through also.
- There are two schools of thought here – tell him that it’s your ovulation window, or not. Ask him and find out which he’d prefer. If he doesn’t want to know, just make a move each month without telling him. Don’t mention ovulation, periods, cycles, and pretend that this is just a normal sexual encounter.
- If he’d prefer to know, let him know subtly rather than “it’s go time!!” or "get home NOW!" Perhaps draw a heart in lipstick on your bathroom mirror to let him know that he can make a move or initiate sex in the next day or so. That way the ball (pardon the pun) is in his court and he doesn’t feel pushed around.
- Each time you have sex, make the goal an orgasm for both of you, not just a baby. Maybe then you’ll both be into it. If you’re aiming for an orgasm too, you’ll both put in the effort.
- If you’re normally morning sex people, don’t change. Vice versa – if you’re a night sex couple, do it then. Putting extra pressure on yourselves to do it right there and then, especially if you don’t have time or are tired, will only increase your stress levels.
- Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go at it like rabbits. Every second day in the 5 days prior to ovulation and 2 days afterward.
- Be patient and try not to let him see your frustration over sex. Encourage him with zero judgement. I know it may seem easy for him - all he has to do is orgasm, but this is an emotional time for him too.
- Give yourselves a month or two off to reconnect in a more normal and natural way. Sometimes you need a mental break from trying to conceive (ttc). Go away for the weekend and relax together without the pressure of sex.
- Mix things up to keep it exciting – try having sex in the car, jazz it up with foreplay or toys.
- Most of all, know that this isn’t just you. We ALL go through the struggle - in fact 88% according to my data.
Now go and get out there and reclaim the intimacy in your relationship!!
If you'd like to create more support in your relationships. Learn more ways to rebuild yourself back up. Take back control of your life. Create strength and renewed purpose, instead of fertility ruling your life.
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