As Australia’s leading fertility provider, we see firsthand the impact of infertility on relationships. The pressures of trying to time intercourse, the re-occurring disappointments and sometimes invasive medical tests can put immense strain on people physically and emotionally.
So, we asked Dr Nikki Goldstein, relationship expert, for her tips on how to maintain intimacy while trying to conceive:
Top tips when having sex for conception
Scheduled sex, when actively trying to get pregnant, can make it feel like a chore. As a result, it is natural for sexual spontaneity to all but disappear, and for one or both partners to end up feeling unsatisfied and/or struggling with sexual anxiety.
It’s important for the sake of the relationship, as well as getting pregnant, that you continue to have sex but also that you continue to enjoy it. It’s a way that we can bond with our partner, show intimacy and a way that we can feel good about each other.
If you are struggling with the routine of timed-intercourse and looking for ideas to maintain sexual intimacy, the following suggestions may help:
- Define what good sex means to both of you and explore how you achieve that. For some people that means longer, harder, faster, for others it might be having a giggle and enjoying the moment. Remember good sex doesn’t have to mean penetration, while it’s important when you are trying to conceive, if your aim is also to have pleasure, intimacy and connect with your partner, explore other acts that will help you achieve this.
- It’s really important to communicate. If you are feeling sexually dissatisfied, discuss it with your partner but also give them a solution to the issue. Suggest a move, a product or getting help from a counsellor or therapist.
- When we are having sex with somebody for a long period of time, we tend to get into a usual behaviour pattern. If you are looking to spice things up in a relationship just choose one small thing to implement into your everyday behaviours that’s different.
- Make sure you celebrate what is working in your relationship. We can often get influenced by all the pressures around us that flaunt what other couples are doing or what we feel we are expected to be doing. Instead of focusing on what’s not going on in the relationship, celebrate what is, and make sure your mind is shifting from the negative to a positive.
- Your mental state is also important. Women especially, if they are under stress, pressure and anxiety can pull away from their partner sexually. It can also stop them from experiencing sexual pleasure. It’s important to address any issues going on in the relationship but also to do a little bit of work to make sure each other feels desired, confident and comfortable in the relationship. It’s important that you not only feel desired but that you want to have sex and that you enjoy having it.
- It’s ok if you are struggling with sex while trying to conceive, just make sure you continue to work on it with each other and keep the lines of communication open