Stress of Infertility

18 September 2013

At Coastal IVF, Sunshine Coast we believe that being aware of all the factors that can cause infertility is important, but want is most pertinent is that you and your partner need a great well-rounded fertility clinic that offers all resources to you and takes the stress out of a stressful and frustrating situation.

This great article from hubspot explains how to focus on what is important during fertility treatment:

The stress of infertility can take a toll on you and your partner’s relationship. The desire for romance and intimacy has a tendency to take a back seat during IVF and any fertility treatment. Sex can become solely about procreation, rather than recreation.

“Nearly 50 percent of all couples going through fertility treatment report a decrease in sexual activity, not to mention a sharp decline in sexual satisfaction,” says Dr. William Schoolcraft, If at First You Don't Conceive: A Complete Guide to Infertility from One of the Nation's Leading Clinics. “This is no surprise, given the fact that sex, which was previously a lighthearted, intimate experience, is now constantly being analyzed, discussed, charted, and reviewed by your medical team.”

It is important to maintain a healthy sexual and nonsexual relationship with your partner. Sex shouldn’t just be about work, it should be fun too. Below, we provide a few tips that couples have used to help increase the success of the treatment while keeping the fire burning.

1) Communication is key

It’s no surprise that men and women communicate feelings and thoughts differently, and this also applies to fertility. Women are often more willing to discuss various difficulties around treatment, while men will frequently keep feelings internalized. If a couple is infertile due to male factor fertility problems, this is more likely to happen. Communication is key in any successful relationship, so remember to limit conversations solely about fertility and be supportive of one another.

2) Bring back the romance

It is important to make your relationship the number one priority when coping with infertility. Try to schedule some romantic evenings away from the time of ovulation. Look back to the things you enjoyed doing when you first started dating. Do something that gives you time to unwind with each other or experience something new together.

3) Be creative

Think of sex not only as a tool for procreation, but also as a way to feel closer to your partner. Don’t reserve sex and intimacy only for the days you are ovulating. When you’re preoccupied with your fertility treatments or not feeling so hot because of your fertility medications, sex may not be on the forefront of your mind. However, use this as an opportunity to be creative. There are plenty of ways to pleasure your partner without sex, so focus on the sensual rather than sexual. You can do it!

4) Take a deep breath and relax!

A massage can be a simple, yet thrilling form of physical intimacy. It is also proven to relieve stress significantly on both physical and psychological levels. Incorporating massage into your stress and wellness management may increase your chances of IVF success. A massage improves blood flow and reduces stress, which are both key factors in fertility. While there isn’t research exploring the massage’s direct role in fertility, “there is reasonable data to support its stress-reduction role in maintaining a pregnancy.” So grab the massage oil (and don’t forget to return the favor!).

5) Engage outside of the bedroom

Go to that restaurant you’ve both been dying to try, play a sexy game of Twister in the living room, or go on a walk through your neighborhood. The less you think about “scheduled” sex, the more natural it will become. Don’t let doctor appointments and IVF medication damper your mood. Continue to explore your relationship and get to know your partner; keep up your morning coffee ritual and other routines you had before the IVF treatment began.

The relationship between your infertility experience and your partner’s sexual satisfaction has a direct impact on the outcome of treatment. Before beginning IVF, most couples have some idea that their sex lives will take on a new meaning.

It is necessary to commit to taking a few steps toward the outcome you want while keeping your partners desires and needs in mind. In most cases, couples will find that they can keep their relationship steamy through the whole journey together.

Recognize that this may happen to you, and be proactive. Sometimes a little bit of extra effort can make all the difference in the world.