Making a baby should be fun for you and your partner, but dealing with a diagnosis of compromised fertility can stress out even the most loving of couples. Scheduling sex robs the spark of spontaneity and putting romance on the calendar just seems wrong. Yet, that’s your reality right now.
When sex begins to feel more like a full time job, or tedious chore than an expression of desire and love you can find yourself struggling to reclaim your former level of libido. The two of you may be so focused on the “now” of fertility treatments and pregnancy you forget to pay attention to your relationship. You probably aren’t feeling your usual sexy self.
Bringing Back Your Sexy
Just because you’re trying to conceive the not-so-old-fashioned way doesn’t mean the romance needs to go out the window. Some of the best and most intimate time you’ll spend with your partner happen outside of the bedroom anyway. Going through fertility treatment need not extinguish the flame of your relationship.
Fertility treatments are exhausting; you easily feel defeated and frustrated, along with experiencing the effects of your out of whack hormones. You don’t feel like yourself physically or emotionally. You’re moody, sick, sore and sad. And you definitely don’t feel sexy and seductive.
You can actually have spontaneous sex during most if not all fertility treatments. Your doctor may ask your partner/husband to refrain from ejaculation for a few days before it is actually go time, but otherwise there is no need to “hold back”. Ask your treating doctor about this.
But sex isn’t the only way you two can connect. With some time, attention, patience, and creativity, you can bring sexy back into the equation. Here are some ways to feed the fire and bring you and your significant other closer and more committed than ever before.
Make Communication Priority One
If you and your partner aren’t communicating clearly and lovingly intimacy will suffer. Now is not the time to keep a lid on what you’re feeling. Be open and honest but also be supportive. Your relationship should be your shelter in the storm, the safe place where you can express how you’re truly feeling, and trust that your partner will listen.
If you’re having trouble with communicating your feelings, or don’t think your partner is supporting you, seek out a couples therapist for help in opening the lines of communication.
Relive The Beginning
Very often couples going through fertility treatment get a little too “goal oriented.” All conversation centers around pregnancy and babies and “what-ifs.” The dynamic of your partnership is easily lost in the fray.
Now is a great time to bring back the spontaneity and fun you experienced in the beginning. Spend a date night recounting stories of when you met, how you felt, what you’d hoped your future would look like. Revisit the site of your meeting, or first date, or any other memorable first when your relationship was beginning to blossom.
Try Something New
Depending on your prescribed fertility treatment, you may want to “spice things up” a bit by trying something new in the bedroom. Discuss your ideas with your partner and if you’re both on board, go for it. Try a new room in the house, a new position or any number of new experiences. At worst you’ll look back and laugh, or you may find a new go-to for your repertoire.
Get Away From It All
Unplug for a few days. Whether that means going to a cabin in the woods, camping on the beach, or staying home and hiding out, spend a day or two with zero distractions. While you’re at it, keep the fertility and pregnancy talk to a minimum. You’ll be surprised how refreshed and relaxed you feel when you come back to the real world.
Along with not feeling your sexiest self, you probably don’t feel like being very kind to anyone. Overcome the urge to scowl and sneer and practice kindness. Especially with your other half. Bring home their favorite take-out, or a special treat. Offer to give your beloved a massage after a long day. Leave love notes for your sweetheart to find. Remember kindness is contagious!
If at any time during your fertility treatment you feel as though your relationship is threatened, seek couples therapy. You’re not the first couple whose marriage has been stretched nearly to the breaking point by undergoing treatment for infertility. It’s a major stressor for many couples. The important thing is to address your concerns as soon as you feel change.
An Opportunity Grow
Good relationships take work, no matter what’s happening. Your experience as you go through treatment for infertility are just as unique as you are as a couple. Use this particular journey to forge your bond and strengthen your commitment. Intimacy is a big part of your relationship. Practice new forms of intimacy and grow closer as a couple in time for your family to grow.